In 2009, the Office for the Aging established an endowment fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF) named in honor of a former director called the Francis G. "Mac" McCoy/Office for Aging Memorial Fund.
OFA is happy to announce that the fund has exceeded the initial goal of $5,000, which means that the fund is endowed and will now be a permanent fund at CRCF.
Endowment funds work by investing the principal dollars, and then a percentage of the dividends are made available each year to be used to fund scholarships or programs. Starting in 2013 proceeds from the Mac McCoy/OFA fund will be available to begin to assist seniors in need or to expand services offered through Office for the Aging. CRCF estimates the initial proceeds will only be about $300, so the fund will need to grow considerably before it will have a significant impact on serving the needs of Chautauqua County seniors.
The current fund balance is close to $7,000 thanks to memorial donations made in honor of "Mac" McCoy, Nancy Newgreen, Doris Shook and Leonard Taddio. In addition, the OFA staff has been holding fundraisers two to three times per year, which have added more than $3,000 to the fund since its inception. OFA director, Mary Ann Spanos, hopes that many people who are currently benefiting from OFA services will consider naming the fund as recipient of donations in their memory after they pass away. Close to 8,000 people in Chautauqua County every year receive assistance from the Office for the Aging to pay for Meals on Wheels, home care, personal emergency response, transportation and many other services.
While some people are able to donate during their lifetime, many more do not have the ability to contribute, so naming OFA as a recipient of memorial donations after they pass away is one way to "pay it forward" to other seniors in need.
While OFA can and does take donations for all of our programs, these donations are required to go right back into services and cannot be invested for future needs. Until the establishment of the Mac McCoy/OFA fund, OFA did not have a mechanism to grow funding for programs or the potential to develop new services not attached to state and federal funds. This is particularly important during these tough economic circumstances where OFA funding, which is not mandated, has been either stagnant or declining in the face of an ever increasing senior population.
It is important to note that while the county legislature approved the formation of the fund, the proceeds can never be used to offset the county's general fund or operating budget. The fund was established in such a way that the proceeds can only be used for senior programs and services. The OFA advisory council will meet annually and decide how the funds will be used.
The following people and organizations have contributed to the Mac McCoy/Office for the Aging Memorial fund in 2011 and 2012. OFA wants to thank everyone who has donated to the fund and to those who have named OFA as recipients of memorial donations in their memory. If you have questions about the fund, call Office for the Aging or the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at 661-3390.
2011 Donors: Southern Tier Foundation, Mr. Thomas Whitney, Southern Tier Environment for Living, Town of Carroll Senior Citizens, Office for the Aging staff, Mayville Library Tuesday Club, Martha Paulson, First Presbyterian Church.
2012 Donors: Mr. and Mrs. Russell Diethrick Jr., Mrs. Patricia Byham, Ms. Eileen Maloney, Mr. and Mrs. James L. Van Dyke, Jane Morris, Kathleen Finch, Carolyn Ardillo, Caroline Sosinski, and the Office for the Aging staff.