OLEAN - The Genesis House was one of a number of local organizations that received early holiday gifts in the form of grants from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation's Community Fund recently.
"As the holiday season approaches, it's especially important that we support programs that help the people in our community who need help most," noted Karen Niemic Buchheit, Executive Director of the Community Foundation.
The CRCF board approved more than $3,500 in grants at its November board meeting, including the second round of Community Fund grants for 2011, including $1,450 to the Genesis House for a new washing machine, a year's supply of detergent and a new computer.
From left: Karen Niemic Buchheit, Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation executive director, and Linore Lounsbury, Genesis House executive director, look over the new high efficiency washer the Foundation helped Genesis House purchase with a grant from the Community Fund.
"We are so grateful to have received this assistance from the Community Foundation," said Linore Lounsbury, Genesis House executive director. "Without their support we would not be able to provide as many services to our area's homeless, helping them to become stable mentally and physically as well as financially."
Through the Community Fund, an unrestricted fund to help meet changing needs in the community, the Foundation's board of directors also awarded grants to Keynote Chorus to partially fund director and accompanist salaries for the group's 25th anniversary season in 2012, the Mental Health Association's No One Way Youth Support Group activities and Olean Theater Workshop to support Oak Hill Park arts programs staffed by AmeriCorps members.
The board approved $2,170 in grants to the Olean Food Pantry from the Community Fund as well as the Mahar Family Foundation, Olean Food Pantry and Rose Pappas Foundation funds.
"The Olean Food Pantry continues to be blessed with donations and grants such as the ones we received from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation," said David Koebelin, Olean Food Pantry President. "These grants will be very beneficial in assisting in our mission of helping to feed those in need."
The Community Fund grant in part will help pay for 500 thermal food storage bags so Pantry patrons can safely carry home perishables such as dairy products, eggs and meat.
The Mahar Family Foundation Fund was established by Francis Mahar of Olean in memory of his family members. The Gift Tree program also received a $100 grant from the Mahar fund for the holiday season.
Other grants from the Rose Pappas Foundation Fund, established by Betty Pappas of Olean to help seniors and the disabled in memory of her sister, Rose, totaled $2,555 and were given to organizations that help disabled and elderly individuals as well as local food pantries.
The board also approved grants fromthe Olean City School District Foundation Fund to benefit several school district projects.
Grants that totaled more than $10,000 were awarded to promote and support events including the Academic Wall of Fame reception, the Red & Gold Golf Scramble and the Olean Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. These events in return generate funds to pay for additional programs in the district.
From the Visual Arts Alliance Fund, the board approved a grant of $1,500 to the Cattaraugus County Arts Council for banners to be displayed at Routes to Art artists' studios to enhance marketing of the event and make the locations move visible to customers and patrons.
The Visual Arts Alliance Fund was established at the Foundation in order to support visual arts in the Olean area community.
Also approved by the board from the Woodland in the City Fund was a grant of $250 as an artist's commission for the creation of a new squirrel sponsored by Trans Am Ambulance Service.
The Woodland in the City Fund was established by Amy Sherburne to promote the arts in Olean through various projects. Proceeds from projects, including the squirrel project, are to benefit the Historical and Preservation Society with the goal of creating a children's museum.