$60,000 in Grants Awarded to Cortland County Nonprofits

The Central New York Community Foundation awarded $60,000 in the fourth year of its Cortland County Bright Ideas grants to 12 nonprofit organizations. Each organization received a $5,000 grant toward a program.

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

“Due to the pandemic, there was an increase in the number of applications this year,” said Brenda Comolli, a Bright Ideas grants program donor and committee member. “We have so many deserving organizations in Cortland County and are inspired by their hard work and innovative programs that strengthen our community.”

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, the Cortland Community Foundation, Brenda and Rod Comolli 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.

“It is our mission to steward donors’ intentions and bring together people with common interests to make a bigger impact,” said Peter Dunn, president & CEO of 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.”

2021 CORTLAND BRIGHT IDEAS $5,000 GRANT RECIPIENTS

Access to Independence of Cortland County to collaborate with NY StateWide’s Cortland Health Access Task Force to create a free, clean, safe, and private location for tele-health visits, virtual job interviews and other virtual meetings for people who otherwise do not have that internet connection at home.

Center for the Arts of Homer to purchase UV light units which will purify air in the theater and community room.

Cortland Area Communities That Care Coalition to increase access to Naloxone (also known as Narcan) used for opioid overdose, by installing distribution kiosks in rural parts of Cortland County and to increase community awareness of Naloxone.

Cortland Chenango Rural Services to purchase chairs for staff, volunteers and guests that can be easily cleaned and disinfected.

Cortland County Family YMCA to repair the existing cooler space and provide cold storage for food distributions, farm-to-family initiatives and more.

Cortland County Historical Society to build a tiered storage system that will better utilize hanging garment space and to purchase a museum vacuum cleaner & archival boxes.

Cortland Loaves and Fishes to expand its current Snackpack program to one or more local junior/senior high schools in Cortland County, which will provide nutritious weekend meals for students.

Cortland Repertory Theatre to develop and expand two family-focused productions, which offer socially-distanced families the chance to experience a drive-through theatre with local actors portraying fairy tale characters and historical figures.

Lime Hollow Nature Center to repurpose an existing structure to accommodate the OCM BOCES New Visions Environmental Science Program for local high school seniors.

McGraw Elementary School to optimize the school’s outdoor space including seating mats and canopies for sun and weather protection.

Seven Valleys Health Coalition to develop a new Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRX) which provides healthy, fresh produce to underserved rural residents, virtual nutrition/cooking classes and one-on-one counseling with a registered dietician.

United Way for Cortland County to provide allocations for technology enhancements for area agencies.

To learn more about the Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program, including how to make a contribution, visit cnycf.org/cortland.

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