Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors Scholarship Fund established at CRCF

Business-minded students throughout Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties will have a new scholarship opportunity available to them thanks to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors Scholarship Fund.

The organization’s board of directors recently decided to establish the scholarship at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation to annually provide two $500 scholarships each to two students in Cattaraugus and two in Chautauqua County who plan to attend either a 2- or 4-year institution.

Preference will be given to students majoring in business or a related major. Students must be in good academic standing. Financial need will not be a factor.

According to Dennis Pezzimenti, Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors president, the scholarship fund is a continuation and expansion of a scholarship that the Cattaraugus Realtors Association had previously established.

Board of Realtors Scholarship Fund

Mary Karst, CCBR scholarship reviewer, Karen Buchheit (front), Ryan Michelle Wilcox and Dennis Pezzimenti (back)

“The Cattaraugus County association felt the need to give back to the community,” said Pezzimenti. “Establishing the scholarship was a step in that direction.”

“The original scholarship was in memory of Orv Johnston,” Pezzimenti continued. “We established a second scholarship a few years ago in memory of Midge Forness.”

“We still feel it is our way to give back and assist our young people entering college,” said Pezzimenti of the decision to partner with CRCF.  “Since the merger [with the Chautauqua Realtors Association], we have now added two more scholarships, so we have two in Cattaraugus County and two in Chautauqua County.”

Mr. Pezzimenti added that the group raises funds for the scholarship through a golf tournament and also gives money raised to charities like Pink Pumpkin Project, Catholic Charities and Southern Tier Military Support Group.

Jan Murray, a board executive, said the board was influenced by CRCF’s reputation as a faithful steward in their decision to establish the endowment at the Foundation.

“We decided to partner with the CRCF because of the wonderful reputation they have and the opportunity of being able to raise more money,” Ms. Murray said. “The foundation is able to investment our money and let it grow, so we can potentially give out more scholarships or increase the value of our existing ones.”

“The foundation is becoming the place to go for local high school students to apply for scholarships,” she said. “The foundation has a wonderful system put in place and our association is excited to join in this way.”

Members of the board of realtors will review applications through CRCF’s scholarship website and recommend the recipients.

Applications for CRCF-managed scholarships will be accepted through the foundation’s online scholarship portal under the scholarship tab at beginning February 1.

Donations can be made to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at

Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email, or visit online at CRCF is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CattFoundation).

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