Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is encouraging cities, towns and non-profit organizations to apply for grants to do marketing projects or help promote their festivals and events, sporting competitions, and conferences or meetings during 2012.
The goal of the grant program is to foster and fund events, activities and programs that promote the development and growth of tourism in Porter County.
“The grants we award are designed to help bring in outside dollars and encourage visitation from outside the county,” said Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotion Director Ken Kosky.
“The grant program has helped long-time events grow and succeed, and it has helped launch newer events. Although the goal is to encourage visitors to come to Porter County, the county’s residents benefit because more money is brought into the county and because residents get more festivals, events and activities to enjoy. The grant program expands the quality of life here.”
In 2011, Indiana Dunes Tourism will honor 20 grants totaling more than $46,500. The 2011 grant recipients include the Kouts Christmas Open House, the Valparaiso University Jazz Fest, the Portage Perch Fest, the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Fest, the Northern Amateur Golf Championship and the Institute of Liturgical Studies conference.
The grants can be used for such things as advertising, printing and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used by municipalities and non-profit organizations to develop brochures, websites and other tools that encourage visitation.
There are four different grant categories: festival and special event grants; sporting event grants; marketing grants; and convention, meeting and seminar grants. Organizations may receive a 50 percent match from Indiana Dunes Tourism with maximum amounts up to $3,000 for the first year, $2,500 for the second year and $1,500 for the third year.
Organizations interested in being a part of the 2012 Tourism Promotion Grant Program should visit www.indianadunes.com/about-indiana-dunes/grants/ and download a copy of the grant application. Applications may also be picked up at Indiana Dunes Tourism, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter, IN 46304. For more information, call Indiana Dunes Tourism Assistant Director Lisa Dittrich-Bondor at (219) 926-2255, ext. 225.
Applications for 2012 grants must be completed and submitted by mail, fax, e-mail, or in person to Dittrich-Bondor by 4 p.m. on Sept. 30.