November 26, 2013


Foundation gives $170K to nonprofits

FoundationJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
The lobby for the relocated Cortland Repertory Theatre on Port Watson Street is decorated with reclaimed woodwork, tin ceilings and chandeliers. The theater, which is renovating the former bowling alley, received $10,000 from the Cortland Community Foundation for the project.

Staff Reporter

The Cortland Community Foundation has raised $169,720 for local nonprofits through a donation competition that has benefited about 30 local agencies.
The Cortland Repertory Theatre won the top prize of $10,000 for having the highest amount of dollar contributions. The YWCA of Cortland was second, winning $5,000 and CAPCO came in third, winning $2,500.
The foundation used $3,000 of its own funds while the rest of the prize money was donated, turning the competition into the largest grant the foundation has ever given in a single year, said CCF President and former Cortland Mayor Tom Gallagher said
“With this we’re going to be giving a total of $169,720. That includes the prize money that the foundation put up,” Gallagher said. “It’s probably the biggest thing that’s happened to this community in a charitable line in a long, long time.”
Starting in October, around 30 nonprofit agencies entered the competition which was divided into two categories: nonprofits with the most dollar contributions and nonprofits with the highest number of individual contributors.
No organization could win in both categories and the deadline was Nov. 18.
CRT Artistic Director Kirby Thompson said the theater plans on using its prize money to start phase two if its three-part capital project.
“Obviously we were very excited,” Thompson said. “We’re very thankful for the Community Foundation for doing this contest.”
He added phase two includes building the new main stage for the theatre and the goal is to start building over the winter.
The Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture in Cortlandville had the highest number of people donate, earning $7,000. Coming in second was the Cortland County Historical Society with $3,500. The Center for the Arts in Homer came in third and won $2,000.
Glen Reisweber, Executive director at Lime Hollow, said the money will go toward its $971,000 capital project, a 28,000-square-foot energy efficient class room on Gracie Lake scheduled for completion in September 2014.
“I was notified Wednesday late afternoon (and) I was thrilled,” Reisweber said. “We viewed this contest as golden opportunity to fund our project ... and our team is thankful for an organization like the (CCF) who is reaching out and helping not only Lime Hollow but all of the non-profits in the Cortland County area.”
Don Reed, foundation secretary and owner of Reed’s Seeds, said he was impressed with how many people came out to donate.
“I’m very happy with it,” Reed said. “I figure we’ve put $3,000 to very good use when you raise close to $140,000. That’s pretty good.”
Reed said one of the stipulations is that grant money must be used for a project any non-profit feels will benefit the community or help them better serve the community and not just to pay salaries.
“We get a lot of requests for operating funds from different organizations,” Reed said. “That’s not what we’re really about. We like something that’s permanent, more long-term.”
Gallagher said the goal of the competition was to make the community more aware of the foundation.
“We’ve been kind of quiet behind the scenes,” Gallagher said. “We want people to know that we’re here to help. I think the important thing to remember here is that our organization survives on people doing business with us and people making donations with us.”
He added, “The more people we can get to become part of the (foundation) investment-wise, the more we’re going to give out to the community. They can be very comfortable knowing that having their money in the community foundation will give them a good return through out the years.”


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