LOWVILLE Lewis County youths just got a huge commitment from the Dyson and Northern New York Community foundations.
A total of $135,000 was awarded to three Lewis County agencies Tuesday during a Community Foundation board of directors meeting, as part of the collaborative partnership they call the Lewis County Child and Youth Development and Empowerment Project. For the project, both agencies contributed $100,000, for a total of $200,000. The remaining $65,000 will be available to agencies in the programs second year.
The primary goal of this initiative is early intervention, both in the form of providing supportive resources for youth who are struggling and in offering a broad array of positive experiences that can set a positive and optimistic direction in the lives of area young people, Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director, said in a news release.
A $50,000 award to the Double Play Sports Community Center, which is housed in the St. Peters gymnasium, 5450 Shady Ave., will expand and enhance their programming as well as provide accessibility scholarships for those who may not be able to afford enrollment fees, according to a Community Foundation news release.
Double Play Sports Executive Director Daniel M. Myers said the award was a wonderful way to celebrate a year in business. The grant will be spent over two years.
This grant fits our mission exactly, Mr. Myers said. I know what we lack, from having grown up here. These monies are perfect.
He said the sports community center has served 700 children throughout the past year, and the centers art and photography classes are full. Mr. Myers said grant funds will help establish a solid foundation for youth in Lewis County, through more music exploration, art classes, physical fitness and woodworking to develop early trade options.
We feel this will provide them with sustainability, Mr. Richardson said.
The foundation also awarded a $35,000 grant to the Adirondack Mennonite Camping Association, which operates Maple Ridge Center, 7421 East Road, and Beaver Camp, 8884 Buck Point Road. Executive Director Keith Zehr said the association now will be able to provide more outdoor activities for Lewis County youngsters.
There is no outdoor after-school program that we know of, he said. At Beaver Camp, with opportunities there, we even get kids that have never been in a canoe. The Maple Ridge Center also gives us a closer way to connect to youth.
Since the center and camp are about 20 miles apart, Mr. Zehr said, he also envisions more transportation being made available between the two places.
The grant also will provide scholarships for those who may not have the resources to pay for any participation, according to the foundation news release.
Mountain View Prevention Services received a $50,000 grant Tuesday to enhance its Youth Advocate program in Lowville, Beaver River and South Lewis central schools and expand the program to include Copenhagen and Harrisville schools.
Nonprofit agencies, school districts and other government entities were able to apply for money to support specific initiatives. Applicants had to be located in Lewis County or provide services to county residents.
Proposals were reviewed by the Community Foundations Lewis County advisory committee before recommendations to the foundations board were considered Tuesday.