Two local organizations will benefit from community grants from Columbia Rural Electric Association.

Columbia County Fire Protection District 3 and Starbuck School District will evenly split the $10,000 in grant funding awarded by the electric cooperative.

The two were chosen from 40 applications in a competitive process.

“We had a tremendous response to our request for applications, and it was a very difficult decision for our selection committee,” Columbia REA said in the announcement.

Applicants came from an array of organizations throughout the three counties served by Columbia REA. A volunteer panel of staff members reviewed the applications. The fire and school district join the more than 100 organizations that receive contributions from Columbia REA each year. Applicants that did not receive funds are encouraged to reapply next year for the community grant program.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, or on Twitter at

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.