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Challenge Grant Gets a Boost

The Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern have been waiting for a challenge.

The group began a challenge grant program in January, pledging to match, dollar for dollar, contributions made for the support of Great Falls Tavern, and other canal attractions in the immediate vicinity of it.

“Our fund is for the future,” said Friends member Elie Pisarra-Cain.

“This particular fund helps the friends activities at the tavern,” Pisarra-Cain said. “It’s just a very important, significant piece of the canal.”

The group has earmarked 20 percent of the fund to go towards helping with damage caused by flooding, a fairly common occurrence for the structure so close to the Potomac River.

The challenge fund got an injection of cash on Dec. 19 when an now-defunct organization called the Potomac Conservation Foundation made a $2,000 donation.

Most of the members of the group moved away from Potomac, and it dissolved as a result, but a former member realized that the group still had some funds.

One of the members of the group contacted Pisarra-Cain. “He asked me if I knew anything in Potomac,” that would be a worthy cause, she said.

She brought up the challenge grant and the group made the donation.

The fund is administered by the Montgomery County Community Foundation. “By putting it in a fund like this we hope it will grow,” Pisarra-Cain said.

The Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern will match the contribution up to a total of $25,000. To date they have received $3,250, which they have matched, bringing the total to $6,500.

“Eventually we hope to have $50,000 in the endowment fund,” said Don Harrison, president of the Friends.