MORTON -- Thousands of dollars in tourism grants for community events are awarded at this time each year by the Morton Village Board.


Grants totaling $120,900 were approved last month for events scheduled through November, but some grants may not be used because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


"We normally issue checks to the grant recipients as soon as the grants are approved, but because of the pandemic, we're requiring the recipients to notify us a month before their event if their event is going to take place," said Village Administrator Julie Smick.


Ten events that were awarded grants are in limbo.


They include the Morton Girls Softball Association's four-tournament Battle at Birchwood ($20,000), Morton Pumpkin Festival ($10,000), Morton Premier Soccer Club's Pumpkin Classic Tournament ($10,000) and Ledgestone Insurance Open disc golf tournament ($10,000).


The Morton Chamber of Commerce is expected to make an announcement July 7 regarding the status of the 54th annual Pumpkin Festival, scheduled for Sept. 16-19.


Tourism monies have been issued for two events: $3,000 for the weekly Morton Farmers Market N More and a total of $36,000 for four tournaments hosted by the Morton Youth Baseball Association.


Organizers of the ninth annual Kids Muddy Madness for St. Jude fundraiser withdrew their grant application after submitting it because they canceled the July 8 event. Online donations are being accepted.


The Morton Tourism Grant Committee scores grant applications and makes recommendations of dollar amounts to the Village Board.


Community and overnight grants are available, with caps of $3,000 and $10,000, respectively. To receive an overnight grant, an event must generate at least 50 overnight hotel stays.


Funding for tourism grants comes from revenue generated by the village's hotel/motel tax.


Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.