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Community Foundation awards more than $100,000 in grants

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The Northern New York Community Foundation again may examine restructuring how it awards grants, but this time it won’t necessarily be going back to fundamental basics.

Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said the board’s recent approval of a $10,000 grant to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County may be an indication of how other projects could be funded in the future. The grant will be used to support the extension’s Adopting Healthy Habits initiative, with a primary focus of addressing childhood obesity.

“This would likely be one thing we’d identify as a strategic priority for the foundation,” Mr. Richardson said. “As time goes on, the Community Foundation will have to be more strategic in its grant making. This gives us an opportunity to begin that process with a lead organization doing an initial screening for us.”

According to a Community Foundation news release, the $10,000 will fund several mini-grants to be awarded to various local agencies and schools that design programs to help promote healthy lifestyles. A call to an extension representative seeking comment was not returned.

Mr. Richardson said that structure could be used as a model for other organizations.

The board also approved the following grants during its quarterly board meeting Tuesday:

n $17,000 to the Orchestra of Northern New York, Potsdam, to fund a minimum of four concerts as part of its 2013-14 Watertown season, and to help market itself throughout Jefferson County.

n $15,000 to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, as a matching grant to complete fundraising for the Thousand Islands Biological Research Station on Governor’s Island near Clayton. The grant was made possible, in part, through the Grace L. Reinman Fund for Clayton and the Alex Velto Community Fund.

n $12,500 to the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum, Madrid, as matching funds to assist the agency in its campaign to establish an endowment fund at the Community Foundation.

n $10,000 to the Henderson Historical Society, to be used toward the completion of its campaign to construct a boat annex adjacent to its museum, which preserves and displays collections featuring the boating heritage of Henderson.

n $10,000 to New Beginnings Clothing & Food Outreach Inc., Madrid, to help complete the construction of a new thrift store and food pantry.

n $5,000 to the town of Lowville to complete repairs to a retaining wall at Old Lowville Cemetery. The grant is funded trough the George R. Davis Fund for Lowville.

n $5,000 to Community Performance Series, Potsdam, toward its summer musical series.

n $5,000 to North Country Arts Council, Watertown, in support of the annual Independence Day concert and fireworks at Thompson Park.

n $5,000 to Trinity Concert series, to help fund its 2013-14 season.

n $4,800 to St. Lawrence County NYSARC, Canton, to be used as startup funds for a pilot program, “Freedom Reins,” an equine therapy program for people with developmental disabilities.

n $3,000 to Double Play Sports Community Center, Lowville, to support its summer enrichment program. The grant is funded through the George R. Davis Fund for Lowville.

n $2,500 to the city of Watertown, for tree planting throughout the city. The grant is funded through the Carolyn Whitney Fund.

n $1,123 to the Lowville Food Pantry for the purchase of new shelving. The grant is funded through the George R. Davis Fund for Lowville.

n $1,000 to the Northern Choral Society, to help fund its annual holiday concert.

n $1,000 to Sackets Harbor Vocal Ensemble, to help fund its annual concert.

n $600 to Arts Community of Lewis County, to purchase new easels and lighting. The grant is funded through the George R. Davis Fund for Lowville.

Mr. Richardson said many arts organizations received support from the Community Foundation because there are few local funding sources to help carry out their projects and programs. He said they “add to our community’s quality of life.”

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