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Seeking a better town

Niskayuna Community Foundation opens annual grant submissions

Former Niskayuna Community Foundation president Vince Valenza, right, presents a $2,000 check to a representative of Concerned for the Hungry during a previous grant award ceremony.

Former Niskayuna Community Foundation president Vince Valenza, right, presents a $2,000 check to a representative of Concerned for the Hungry during a previous grant award ceremony. Submitted photo

— “More and more people in the community are deciding they are willing to give back to the community they have lived or worked or attended school … for the life they have enjoyed there and we have been able to grow in the number of grants we give out,” Phillippe said. “Niskayuna has families that have diverse economic backgrounds and needs. The Niskayuna Community Foundation positively impacts all economic levels.”

She said as schools, government and public funding of non-profit organizations are being reduced, the foundation helps provide some relief as needs arise.

Previously, it has offered grants to assist the school district in projects or initiatives, such as a $3,000 grant for the high school to build an outdoor science classroom utilizing hands-on experiences. On the other end of the spectrum, assisting the elderly has been a consistent focus, such as supporting Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc, to increase home repair services for the frail, elderly and those with disabilities.

Providing funds to a variety of organizations is a goal for the group.

“We try not to always fund the same organizations every year,” Huggins said. “There are other certain things that we do tend to repeat.”

Phillippe said the organization started as a grassroots movement at the end of the 90s, because some residents started to thinking about where the town was headed in the new century.

“We thought it was important to strengthen the community for the future, so therefore we started the foundation so the town and school district would be taken care of in the new century,” she said.

Becoming an affiliate of the Greater Capital Region Community Foundation allowed the local group to serve as a standalone entity while receiving administrative and investment support and guidance from the parent group.

For more information on the Niskayuna Community Foundation or to donate to the organization visit its website at www.NiskayunaCF.org.

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