Artists and historians, educators and health care providers, firefighters and children will all benefit from money recently dispersed by the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.
On Thursday, the organization announced it has awarded $101,500.27 in grants to 63 different nonprofits throughout Bedford, Cambria and Somerset counties. The recipients were as diverse as Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Johnstown Free Medical Clinic, Meyersdale Area School District, Portage Volunteer Fire Company, 1901 Church and Mountain Playhouse.
The grants came from the foundation’s Unrestricted Fund.
“Our Unrestricted Fund grants really do go in a lot of different directions,” said CFA President Mike Kane.
Ninety-four organizations applied for more than $650,000 in grants. A distribution committee reviewed the applications and selected the recipients.
“What some people don’t realize is that the donors’ guidelines for each of these Unrestricted Funds actually play a big part in the types of grants that can be made,” said Kane.
“For example, grants from the Portage Endowments go directly to benefit projects in Portage. Grants from the Berkey Fund go directly to arts-related projects in Somerset and Bedford counties. Grants from the FPL Wind Power Fund go directly to projects in Meyersdale. So when you review the list of grants that the committee approved this year, you can really see our donors’ intentions in action. This is the heart of what our community foundation is all about.”
Funds were distributed in six different areas: Arts and culture, children and youth, community development, education, health and human services, and heritage.
A little less than $31,000 went to community development, more than to any other division.
The Young Professionals of the Alleghenies received the largest grant, $5,000 for an outreach and action plan to grow a network of entrepreneur programs.
Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, located in the Cambria City neighborhood of Johnstown, received $2,000 for its Breaking Barriers program, which helps individuals with vision
or audio problems, along with victims of abuse, gain hands-on experience with art.
“We’re connecting them with the arts, so that we provide this culture of creativity,” said the center’s executive director, Rosemary Pawlowski.
The Bedford County Historical Society was awarded $500 to help offset
the cost of printing promotional brochures.
The society has received CFA funding several times in the past, including when it got money for improvements to its audio system.
“The Community Foundation has been very good to us,” said the society’s executive director, Gillian Leach.
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