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CRCF Remains Committed To Region

The Community Foundation remains committed to supporting our community. Pictured are Michelle Frederickson, scholarship officer; Lisa Lynde, donor services officer; Elizabeth Jones, community impact officer and Tory Irgang, executive director. Not pictured are Karie Hayes, donor services associate; Jake Schrantz, fiscal officer and Sarah Shelters, communications officer.

In March, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation placed a hold on its competitive grant-making to focus its efforts on The Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund: COVID-19.

Together with the local United Ways and Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation awarded nearly $900,000 to organizations on the front-lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as, those suffering severe financial hardships.

The Community Foundation was also instrumental in securing several large grants from The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and Home Grown to support childcare needs in Chautauqua County.

“Our board took a big step in May by creating The Future Fund to support emergency needs occurring as a result of natural disasters, community tragedies and health crises,” said Peter Stark, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation board president.

“This new fund will grow over time and help us meet unexpected needs down the road.”

Violin students tune their instruments before a performance.

Recently, the foundation announced the re-opening of its competitive grant-making processes with several updates for the remainder of 2020.

According to Tory Irgang, foundation executive director, the foundation is shifting its funding priorities towards making grants that are as unrestricted as possible.

“We realize there is much uncertainty as many of our local nonprofit organizations have cancelled fundraising events and await state budget cuts,” Irgang said. “The Community Foundation is positioning its competitive grant dollars to help meet the highest needs of our community right now.”

The foundation will accept requests from local 501c3 organizations on a rolling basis for the remainder of the year. The timeline for reviewing requests will be based on the urgency of need for the organization and the availability of external information and factors that could impact the delivery of services or programming.

For organizations located in the Falconer Central School District and Randolph communities, grant applications are now available for the Falconer Region Community Fund and John Edward McLaughlin Family Fund. The deadline is August 1.

All grant applications, as well as additional information, is located online by visiting chautauquagrants.org.

In addition to its support for local organizations, the foundation continues to support local students through its scholarship program. Scholarship applications for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students are available online at crcfonline.org/scholarships until July 15.

“While we realize this is a difficult time for students as they try and navigate what their college experience may look like next year, we want to remind them that this money is available to help them,” said Michelle Frederickson, foundation scholarship officer.

Last year, more than 750 students received over $1.3 million. In addition to helping pay tuition costs, Frederickson said that scholarships from the Community Foundation can be used to cover any expenses related to their education, including books, meals, transportation, equipment, and room and board.

There are also additional scholarships for college students studying music education and for local youth taking private music lessons.

“Our typical May 1 deadline was postponed due to the shutdown and we will not be scheduling live auditions this year, but music scholarships are still available,” Frederickson said.

College aged students may complete the music scholarship application online, while youth students can complete a paper application and submit it via mail or email.

Music scholarships are also due July 15.

For more information about the Community Foundation and its grant or scholarship processes, visit crcfonline.org or call 661-3390.

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