Foundation provides grants to nonprofits
The Elk County Community Foundation [ECCF] distributed nearly $20,000 in grant monies to five non-profit organizations Wednesday night at Elkwood Arts at 324 Allenhurst Ave., in Ridgway.ECCF brought together non-profit organizations that serve the residents of Ridgway who were chosen to receive a grant from the Borough of Ridgway Charitable Fund. The Borough of Ridgway Charitable Fund's purpose is to provide financial support to those non-profit organizations whose application reflects a purpose or project that will benefit the residents of the Borough of Ridgway. The endowed fund was a gift received from the estate of Sara-Jane Stackpole and is held at the ECCF. The ECCF Board of Directors appointed an advisory committee made up of Ridgway community leaders and residents to review and distribute those grants that will enhance the quality of life for all residents.This year's Advisory Committee included Joe Bullers, Linda White, Mike Renaud, Derrick Goode and Mary Jane Oknefski."We are thrilled to be able to administer the Borough of Ridgway Charitable Fund," said ECCF Executive Director Paula Fritz Eddy. "Our advisory board was is the heart and soul of reviewing all of these applications."Eddy said ECCF received 10 applications totaling over $55,000 worth of projects."Unfortunately, we were only able to give just shy of $20,000," Eddy said. "We are thrilled to give this money, but what it says to us is we need to raise more money to put into this fund."CAPSEA, Inc. received a check for $9,500 to aid in support for their Emergency Shelter Operations that provide shelter, meals and supplies, while maintaining a safe haven for victims of abuse and their children."Without the support we could not operate our shelter," said CAPSEA executive director Billie Jo Weyant. "We took severe cuts over the past year and all of our shelter funds must come from local fundraising dollars. This money will ensure the safety and well-being for a lot of victims over the years."Elkwood Arts, a division of Dickinson Center, Inc., was awarded $1,605 and will now be able to purchase new toolkits for their consumers.A grant for $2,500 was given to the Footlighters of Elk County for the purchase of a new lighting system."Some of our lights are vegetable cans with floodlights stuck in them," said president Mike Ames. "We appreciate the support from the foundation."The Footlighters Community Theatre Group has been putting on plays for Elk County for about 55 years.