SCHROON LAKE - Founded in 2005, the Community Fund for the Gore Mountain Region (CFGMR) is one of the main sources of not-for-profit grant awards in the North Country.
The CFGMR is affiliated with the Adirondack Community Trust, a community foundation serving the region, enabling people and institutions to establish endowed funds to benefit specific institutions, organizations and community needs.
CFGMR's relationship with ACT ensures that all donations qualify for the maximum available tax deduction.
Community foundations are tax exempt public charities serving thousands of people who share a common interest-improving the quality of life in their area, according to the ACT.
The CFGMR was created by a group of North Creek residents who solicit fellow residents for donations towards local charitable endeavors.
The donations go into an endowment fund and percentages are then distributed as grants among groups including youth and seniors, the arts and humanities, historical preservation and other worthwhile causes serving the towns of Chester, Horicon, Johnsburg, Minerva and Schroon.
"Small grants make a huge in difference in the quality of life throughout our towns," said Elise Widlund of the advisory council.
Organizations receiving grants are chosen through a competitive grant application process managed by CFGMR's Advisory Council.
The 2009 grant program awarded twelve grants, totaling $7,200. A presentation was hosted by the CFGMR Trustees on Aug. 28. The event was held by Helen Cornwall and her family on the shore of Ordway Pond in Johnsburg and catered by the Copperfield Inn.
Grants were presented to:
Vonda Beattie, of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #625, to send girls to Girl's State to learn about responsible citizenship and love for God and country;
Chris Sears, working on his Boy Scout Eagle Rank and the Adirondack Tri-County Nursing Home, to enhance a garden area for the residents to enjoy;
Rachael DeGrott, Cheerful Cricket Nursery School, for scholarship assistance;
Kelly Nessle, representing the Friends of the Town of Johnsburg Parks, for material to build a shade arbor by the tot lot at Ski Bowl Park;
Lyle Dye, president of the Johnsburg Historical Society, to put oral histories onto CD and DVD for long term storage and ease of sharing the information;
Jeff Fosdick, trustee of the Johnsburg Library, to help with the costs of building a handicap access entrance closer to the parking lot;
Kelly Nessle, representing Johnsburg Youth Commission, for after-school programs;
Jennifer Thul, representing Planet Minerva, for their new community garden project;
Heidi Kelly, principal of the Minerva Central School, for funding assistance for the Middle School students' trip to Boston next spring;
Brother James, representing the North Creek Ministry, for purchase of and instruction in the use of car seats;
Michelle San Antonio, of the North Creek Depot Museum, for smoke detectors and fire alarms;
Noel Dingman, of Upper Hudson Musical Arts, to redo their website and increase communication clarity.
The CFGMR will be hosting a grant writing workshop this coming spring.
"Many people are intimidated by the grant writing process, but it's really not that difficult," said Widlund.
It is their hope to educate people how to best seek out the grant money that is available.
The CFGMR is also sponsoring a "double your dollar" program during their upcoming fundraising efforts. Their 2010 goal is $300,000 and they have already raised roughly half. For the remaining half, they will match all donations made by local residents.
As the fund continues to grow, the size and number of grants will increase and the public's help is needed to meet their goals. Contributions are welcomed and can be made to the Community Fund for the Gore Mountain Region, PO Box 217, North Creek, NY 12853 or Cali Brooks, executive director of the Adirondack Community Trust, PO Box 288, Lake Placid, NY 12946. For more information call 523-9904 or visit www.GenerousACT.org under community funds.