Community Fund grants support area nonprofit projects, sustainability

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation’s board of directors recently approved four grants from the Community Fund to support special projects and initiatives at area nonprofits, including the Allegany Public Library, Olean Business Development Corporation, YMCA of the Twin Tiers and Healthy Community Alliance.

A $1,000 grant to the Allegany Public Library will help the library install new lighting that highlights the architectural detail of the building at night, with the ultimate goal of creating a more inviting and picturesque Allegany Main Street.

From L-R, Robert Parker, Allegany Public Library board president; Wendy Brand, CRCF board president; Charlene Sendlakowski, APL board member; and Nate Austin, APL director.

The library is working with members of the Enchanted Mountain Gardening Club who are leading the effort to install new lighting for historic Allegany buildings.

“The proposed ‘Landscape Lighting’ project began in response to an awareness that once our flower displays/planters were gone at the end of the summer, our Main Street appears to lack the warmth and inviting atmosphere we have become used to through the planter project,” said Melissa O’Dell, gardening club president.

Nathan Austin, Allegany Public Library director, expressed his gratitude to the Foundation and encouraged others in Allegany to join the effort to beautify the Allegany streetscape.

“It has been a wonderful experience working with the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation and the Enchanted Mountain Garden Club in our effort to highlight one of Allegany’s historic buildings and its awesomely amazing architecture,” Austin said. “It is our hope that the owners of other historic building will join our effort to light up the night and showcase the wonder that is the Village of Allegany.”

Olean Business Development Corporation received $2,000 for a popup cinema event it will be coordinating in downtown Olean.

OBD, in partnership with the Olean Area Federal Credit Union and Jamestown Community College, will be hosting a six-week outdoor film series in downtown Olean, beginning in the summer of 2018.

The Community Fund grant will purchase the rights to three films, allowing the public to attend and enjoy the comfort of a revitalized downtown free of charge.

“Through Pop-up Cinema, a six-week film series, we hope to provide another avenue to promote downtown Olean as a destination in tandem with events like StrOlean,” said Chris Michel, Olean Business Development marketing and communications director. “We encourage the community to come out for evenings of fun and camaraderie.”

YMCA of the Twin Tiers received $2,500 to help the agency undergo a long-term sustainability and capacity building study.

“This project provides for a comprehensive capacity building assessment conducted by professional consultants… that will aid the YMCA in establishing strategies to determine its long term sustainability for the next 5-10 years and beyond,” said Jeff Alevy, YMCA of the Twin Tiers CEO.

“Once this project is complete, it will give the YMCA a road map for operational or fiscal adjustments needed to ensure long term viability,” he added.

The final grant, $1,000, to Healthy Community Alliance, based in Gowanda, will allow the agency to create a new strategic plan for success.

According to Ann Battaglia, HCA executive director, grant funds will help the agency achieve a goal of long-term sustainability and position it as a premiere facilitator for rural health.

HCA aims to improve quality of life in rural communities through broad-based, inclusive partnerships that support wellness and disease prevention, Battaglia said. The agency primarily serves rural areas in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Wyoming counties along the route 39 corridor.

“Beautification, economic development and supporting sustainability of our area nonprofits are all causes that are always on the mind of our board of directors,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “We see much progress and advancement in the overall state of our community, and these grants allow us to support the continuation of that progress.”

Donations can be made to the Community Fund at 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 CRCF is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CattFoundation).

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