Building a Brighter Future was the theme at the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation's 28th annual meeting June 16 at JCC North Training & Conference Facility. The meeting recapped 2013 achievements to over 80 community members.
Peter Clark, NCCF president, welcomed and thanked everyone for attending. Through the use of flashlights handed out to the audience, Clark demonstrated how one light only burns so bright. However, many lights together make for a brighter future. NCCF uses the "light" from its many donors to support grant programs. In 2013, $467,444 was distributed in the community through grants to local nonprofits and scholarships to area students. Speakers from four local nonprofits provided insight on how grant money has impacted their organization. Speakers included Bob Ehr-heart, Lakeshore Humane Society; Kathleen Peterson, Chautauqua Rural Ministry; John Paul Wolfe, Chautau-qua County Historical Society; and, Mac Crowe, Silver Creek-Irving Heritage Fund.
Appointments and elections also took place during the meeting. Gina Paradis, Katherine Tampio, and David Travis were appointed to the 2014 - 2015 Nominating Committee. Newly elected voting members are John Ames, Michael Bobseine, Esq., Magdalena Dye, Nancy Adams Fry, John Hamels, Ph.D, Brenda Hayes, Ph.D, Virginia Horvath, Ph.D, Debra Pacos, Kate Piazza, and John "Jay" Warren. Re-elected to voting membership were Adam C. Bratton, Mary Beth Chess, Nancy Eberz, Gileen French, Richard S. Johnson, Susan Marsh, Meredith Patton, and John Runkle.
Wrapping up the meeting was the presentation of the George B. Weaver Jr. Foot-prints Award. This year, Dick and Carmen Gilman received the prestigious award for their many acts of kindness in the community. A framed photograph from local photographer Dan Sullivan was presented to the Gilmans by Peter Clark, along with a proclamation from Congressman Tom Reed.
A reception followed the meeting catered by Parkview Cafe in Westfield. Guests had the opportunity to visit and meet with NCCF staff, board members and volunteers. Thanks to the Gilmans' candid statement concerning all that Chautauqua County has to offer guests left for home wondering "why live anywhere else?"
The NCCF is one of nearly 700 community foundations in the United States today. Founded in 1986, the NCCF is committed to improving the community through the promotion of local philanthropy, strategic grantmaking and community leadership. Served by a small staff and governed by an all-volunteer board of directors, the organization has distributed over $9.5 million in the form of grants and scholarships within the community. For more information, visit www.nccfoundation.org.