Editor’s note: Starting on Giving Tuesday, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is featuring 12 examples of local people, inspired by their passions, who are using the foundation to make a difference for others.
For 10 years, Francis McCoy served as director for the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, although to his colleagues and clients, he was simply Mac.
Following his service as director, Mac continued working on behalf of seniors as a state Office for the Aging representative in Albany, and later as a private citizen, until his unexpected death in 2008.
Several programs Mac instituted during his time in Chautauqua County are still in place today, such as, The Caregiver Support Program, Developmental Disabilities Program and Elder Abuse Prevention Program.
“I can easily say that I never met a man more dedicated to the well-being of senior citizens than Mac,” said Marcus Harazin, New York State Office for the Aging retired deputy director. “His enthusiasm for the elderly and aging services was contagious.”
Not long after his passing, Mac’s family and colleagues at the local Office for the Aging wanted to do something to honor his memory, and continue his decades long dedication to the elderly population in Chautauqua County.
Since 2009, The Francis G. “Mac” McCoy/Office for the Aging Memorial Fund has annually provided funding to the local OFA to enhance and expand services to help seniors most at risk, or in need of help, throughout the community.
According to Mary Ann Spanos, Chautauqua County Office for the Aging director, funds have been used to support seniors who wish to remain in their home but need financial assistance for critical home repairs, handicap accessibility and equipment to make their stay more comfortable.
“We started this fund, not only as a way to honor Mac, but to meet the needs of local seniors that were not being met by state and federal funding,” Spanos said. “Over the years we have received some very generous donations from individuals who knew Mac, or family members of the seniors we serve.”
Recently, the Office for the Aging’s fundraising proceeds have been donated to the fund in honor of seniors receiving services on their birthday.
“We will send them a birthday card with a note that a donation has been made in their honor to Mac’s fund,” Spanos explained. “Many of our seniors are living alone and this may be the only birthday card they receive. It has been very heartwarming to hear the positive responses we have received from doing this.”
To learn more about supporting an organization or cause, contact the foundation at 661-3390 or visit crcfonline.org.