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Community nonprofits see $1.5M in grants

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Hannah Peachy, president of the Muncy Pool Association casts her vote for the best hot chocolate for Camp Susque during the First Community Foundation Partnership's "Flannel and Frost" Grant Reception at theFCFP Philanthropy Center in Williamsport Friday. The event included a nonprofit hot chocolate contest, children activities, and a distribution of over a $1.5 million in grants to area non-profits.

Over $1.5 million in grants were awarded to 79 nonprofit organizations Friday by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania at this year’s “Flannel and Frost” winter grant reception.

The grants represented the final awards for 2019 and some for the current year.

Flannel wear was in abundance as those attending sampled hot chocolate, which had been prepared by area businesses with their own signature twists.

The business whose hot chocolate was voted the best by the crowd of over 100 people received $1,000 for its favorite nonprofit. Alabaster Coffee was the recipient of the most votes and their prize went to Camp Susque Inc.

This year’s reception was a departure from past years with the community coming out in full force.

“It just seemed like a fun opportunity,” said Jennifer D. Wilson, president and CEO of the foundation.

“We always know when we partner with our local nonprofits lots of folks usually come out, but we are thrilled with the number of people who came out tonight,” Wilson said.

“It’s a great way for people not only to learn about the work that we do, but to learn about the amazing work our nonprofits do with the grants that we’re able to provide,” she added.

In opening the grant award ceremony, Wilson highlighted the foundation’s past year.

“We had 5,500 donors who made cumulative gifts of $6.2 million,” Wilson said. “We had 369 nonprofits that benefited from the foundation’s grant making, which totaled $4.6 million.”

“The foundation’s longterm endowment experienced a 20 percent return on its investments and, for the first time in our organization’s history, FCFP ended the year with a record breaking $105 million in total assets,” Wilson added.

The foundation acts as a conduit between philanthropists and nonprofits, Wilson said, and by creating a fund at FCFP, donors are supporting nonprofits in perpetuity.

“If you take one thing away from tonight,” Wilson told the crowd of adults and children, “I hope it’s the knowledge that the most important representation of the foundation is not a dollar sign or a decimal place, it’s the symbol for infinity.”

Speaking after the reception, Wilson noted that the foundation began its work in 1916 with just $33.

Betty Gilmour, director of grantmaking at the foundation announced the grants distributed to eight nonprofits through the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations serving residents in Lycoming County with missions related to arts and culture, education, health and human service, youth, environment and economic development. They included:

• The New Love Center, $50,000 in conjunction with dollars from the Roscoe M. and Edith M. Wolf Fund to be used for a 16 foot box truck with a lift for food pick-up and distribution in the Jersey Shore Area.

• BLaST IU 17 Educational Enhancement Foundation, $55,000 for community poverty simulation event showcasing community resources and services and professional development series to promote cross-agency collaboration.

• Lycoming County United Way, Inc., $70,000 for technology and software upgrades for donor engagement allowing more time and fundraising dollars to be used for community partner support.

• North Penn Legal Services, Inc., $90,000, medical legal partnership with River Valley Health and Dental Center to provide free legal service to low income patients.

• The Covation Center, $110,000, awareness, training and coaching for businesses to prepare to hire previously incarcerated individuals or others with barriers to employment.

• James V. Brown Library, $167,619 in conjunction with dollars from the Dr. Randall F. Hipple Find for digitization of 1,492 reels of microfilm of newspapers from the years 1800 to 2000 to an easily accessible and readily searchable database.

• Community Arts Center, $250,000, for replacement of the 25-year old roof for the stability of the facility and to protect the interior of the historic building.

• Geisinger Health Foundation, $250,000, for a helipad for Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital campus to eliminate the additional 30-minute needed to transport patients to trauma centers.

Recipients of grants through the C. Larue Artley Fund, which benefits the elderly and children in the Montoursville area, were:

• Montoursville Area School District, $50 for the high school Key Club Halloween Party for the elementary school.

• Sojourner Truth Ministries Inc., $75 for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals for seniors.

• Montoursville Senior Citizens, $250 for support for programs.

• Montoursville Public Library Association, $400 for support for programs and operations.

• Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $800 for food for the backpack program for elementary and middle school students.

Four nonprofits were granted $7,800 through the Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund for projects towards the religious, charitable, educational, cultural, recreational or economic welfare of Lewisburg. The grant recipients were:

• Evangelical Community Hospital, $750 for bicycle helmets for children in need at Kelly Elementary School.

• Susquehanna Valley Young Life, $2,050 for a character mentoring program with adults and middle and high school students.

• Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $2,000 for food for distribution at First Presbyterian Church and Eastern Union County Food Pantry.

• Union-Snyder Community Action Agency, $3,000 for Empowering Lewisburg Families, financial assistance for utility bills for low income families without energy assistance.

Gilmour also announced designated fund grants totalling over $432,200 to 67 nonprofits in 2020.

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