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Makers, endeavoring to improve their community, are a fantastic sight to see. Whether it is something as simple as bettering the aesthetic of public use areas that are aging, or as involved as rebuilding housing for those in need, making for a good cause should always be celebrated.

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Bernzomatic has stepped up to be a beacon of goodwill in this area, not only lauding those who make for good, but helping to support them as well. The Bernzomatic Find Your Fire Community Grants program aims to empower makers to bring good ideas to life by elevating projects that improve communities in some way, awarding cash prizes and Bernzomatic products, plus offering consultation with a professional.

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This year they’re teaming up with TV home rehabber and designer Nicole Curtis, with up to $15,000 in grants available to the winners. They’re looking for creative projects that benefit the community and also use Bernzomatic torches. Whether it’s a STEAM education program, a maker space remodel, an art project for a community center, or an invention that solves a problem, they want to hear about it.

mf16ny_badge_255Bernzomatic and Nicole will be at World Maker Faire New York. On Oct. 1, Nicole will be a center stage speaker and discuss her tips, tricks, and antics she’s learned while rehabbing homes and working with skilled artisans. She’ll also give advice as to how you can use your maker talents to give back.

I’m inspired by makers and all they do, and know that this is a group of people who create things that can really make a difference in the world around them. Saving old houses and rebuilding neighborhoods is my way of doing it, and I can’t wait to hear about yours. Join me and Bernzomatic in this second year of the Find Your Fire Community Grants program and share your talents for the greater good.

Be sure to stop by the Bernzomatic booth and say hello! You’ll even get a chance to try out some Bernzomatic torches and learn how to patina a picture frame right there at the Faire. When you’re done, you can get a picture snapped and printed right there in the booth.

You might be tempted to tell her all about your idea on the spot, but remember, to be considered for the grant program you have to fill out the official entry form. However, if your idea is good enough, you might get a chance to spend a little more time with the TV host. Nicole will spend a day working with the 1st place winner on-site!

Simply submit your idea by October 31 for a chance to win grants as well as torches from Bernzomatic for your project. The top ten finalists will be announced and the public voting will begin on December 1.

Prizes this time around:

  • 1st place: $15,000 and a consultation and working day with Nicole Curtis
  • 2nd place: $7,500
  • 3rd place: $5,000
  • Runners-up (7): Each receiving $1,500

Winners will be announced mid-January 2017, and all will also receive new Bernzomatic torches to help get their project going.

To submit your idea, all you have to do is provide a clear explanation of what you’re doing, how it helps the community, and how you would use Bernzomatic torches. Go to the Bernzomatic Find Your Fire page to enter the program. Then check back Dec 1 to see if you are a finalist – and if you are, rally your friends and family to vote.