Foundation gives region source to meet greatest needs

The First Community Foundation Partnership marked a milestone year recently with the opening of its new philanthropy center in the former Ross Club building on West Fourth Street.

The phenomenal success of the foundation, starting with a $33 gift a century ago, has been well documented.

It plays out today in millions of dollars in gifts and grants to a wide variety of causes and entities throughout the region.

The foundation is positioned now for a new and ­ if possible ­ next-level chapter of philanthropy. Its new center gives it a home like it has never had before.

Part of the construction is geared to providing a home for non-profit entities to meet and discuss their business.

We hope that will become an important facet of the center.

Just as vitally, we hope the foundation will remain a unique entity for funds that would not otherwise be available for community needs in the region.

We underline needs because, in our view, there is so much need in our region today.

The priority that can be met by the foundation like no other entity is giving targeted to places that have limited assets and ability to attain assets but meet the most critical of community needs.

And there is so much of that type of need to be met.

At its opening event, the Williamsport Municipal Airport Authority was the recipient of the Once in a Century $1 million grant to help complete necessary funding to build a new $16 million terminal.

The funding literally put the project over the top, with plans now due to move ahead in the spring for a desperately needed modernization that will hopefully boost the local economy and provide local travelers with services that are commonplace in other communities our size.

The air service in our community is clearly lagging behind others.

We will guess with some certainty that there were other worthy contenders for the $1 million and that those applications will bear fruit in the future.

That will happen as long as the foundation of the next 100 years continues to be a broad-based source to meet those whose needs are greatest in the region.