Cortland Bright Ideas 2024

$55,000 In Grants Awarded to Cortland County Nonprofits

Applicants were invited to submit a ‘bright idea’ for enhancing their nonprofit and explain how that idea will help the organization to better serve its community.

In the seventh year of its Cortland County Bright Ideas program, the Central New York Community Foundation awarded $55,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations serving residents of Cortland County. Each organization received a $5,000 grant.

Applicants were invited to submit a ‘bright idea’ for enhancing their nonprofit and explain how that idea will help the organization to better serve its community. The submissions were evaluated based on community impact, collaboration and sustainability.

“We know there are a lot of needs in Cortland County and love seeing the inspiring ideas to address them,” said Haylee Ferington with Homer Solar, a Bright Ideas grants program donor and committee member. “We are proud to be a part of the Cortland Bright Ideas program, and glad that these 11 grants went to deserving organizations working to have an impact on the lives of Cortland County’s residents.”

Cortland County Bright Ideas is supported through the generosity of the Fenstermacher Fund, the Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund, the Margaret and Roland Fragnoli Designated Fund, the Yaman Foundation, the Bertini Family Foundation, Homer Solar and other local donors who were inspired to give back to the local community. The selection committee was comprised of the organizations and individuals who contributed.

The Fenstermacher Fund, administered by the Community Foundation, serves as a catalyst for the Bright Ideas program. Ted Fenstermacher was a prominent attorney who served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials following World War II. The Fenstermacher Fund, established through his bequest in 2001, has supported the general needs of the community for more than 15 years, largely through the funding of a lecture series, prior to the launch of Bright Ideas.

“Our mission is to steward donors’ intentions and bring together people with common interests to make a bigger impact,” said Tom Griffith, vice president of development at the Central New York Community Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see the generosity of Mr. Fenstermacher and the other donors supporting important projects in Cortland County.”

2024 CORTLAND BRIGHT IDEAS $5,000 GRANT RECIPIENTS

Central New York Spay Neuter Assistance Program (CNY SNAP) will provide free microchips to cats and dogs that come through their low cost spay/neuter clinic.

Cortland Collective Impact Initiatives will provide support to those returning to the community after addiction treatment with free access to a number of arts programs including theatre, culinary arts and music therapy.

Cortland County Community Action Program (CAPCO) will provide education, resources and support to families facing poverty.

Cortland County Family YMCA will upgrade its pool with a chlorine-free boiler to guarantee a desired temperature for all.

Cortland Loaves and Fishes will provide an industrial washing machine and dryer for neighbors who find it difficult or impossible to provide for themselves.

Cortland Repertory Theatre will hold a program called the Pavilion Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in local high school theatre.

Family Counseling Services of Cortland County (Family & Children’s Counseling Services) will host the Cortland County Pride Festival, an annual event bringing together the LGBTQIA+ community together.

Homeville Museum will provide interactive touchscreens in key areas of the exhibit in order to create a hands-on, and engaging experience.

JM Murray will provide adults with disabilities the opportunity to explore the arts as observers through culinary, visual and material art mediums.

Seven Valleys Health Coalition will extend The Doula Project to include postpartum doula training in order to provide support beyond prenatal, labor and birth care. 

The Center for the Arts of Homer will create a space and opportunity for local farmers and makers to support and provide resources to agricultural and arts entrepreneurs in the community.

To learn more about the Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program and to gain information on donating, please visit cnycf.org/cortland.

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