I thought some of you might be interested in how this all worked out for our club. Maybe you can take advantage of this wonderful program too!
Our club applied for this equipment Grant in May, 2001 just before the deadline. I was told that the decisions would be made in June and winning applicants notified in July. After grinding through the mill at USFA for several months I was notified in November that we had made the cut. Sarah at USFA was very helpful and patient with me but it seemed to take a long time to get out of the various committees (ie; volunteers). After getting official notification from USFA in January, I contacted an approved USFA corporate sponsor/vendor to set up the purchase. Here's how it works:
USFA will grant you a 50% discount on the first $1000 USD order you place with their approved vendor. You can't buy from just "anybody". So I placed an order with American Fencers Supply for $1000 and it is only costing our club $500! Pretty sweet! We will now have some decent club electrical gear which will help promote more participation at tournaments etc.
USFA expects you to use this equipment to further the goals of USFA and we certainly intend to do just that. If you decide to apply for this grant, answer their questions thoughtfully and be patient. They told me they issue "about 10 or 12 grants per year".
Good luck! Our order is shipping prepaid freight today and should be here Monday or Tuesday! Yippee!