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NNY Community Foundation and its Youth Philanthropy Council award grants

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Watertown High School students learned an important lesson about money Tuesday: just because you have the cash doesn’t mean you have to spend it all.

That’s exactly what members of the fall group of the Northern New York Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council at Watertown High School did, as they made $9,500 in grant recommendations to the foundation’s board of directors, instead of the full $10,000 they were allotted.

Meghan E. Hefferon, vice chairwoman of the fall group, said while more than 20 organizations applied for funds, council members had to think specifically about what those agencies would do for the community if the council funded a program or project. For her, the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County’s proposal “had depth.”

The group recommended to the foundation’s board of directors that CAPC receive $1,200 to purchase school supplies and other personal care items. CAPC staffers “were also educating the parents as well,” Miss Hefferon said. “It wasn’t just a temporary fix.”

The Watertown High School senior, 17, said her second — and last — year on the youth council was rewarding. Advice for the spring group, she said, would be to “find an organization they feel passionate about that’s meaningful to them, and look at the long term and that the organization has a thorough plan.”

Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said the Youth Philanthropy Council is a “great opportunity for smaller projects to be funded in an easier way.” He said he’d encourage local nonprofit agencies with projects up to $2,000 to reach out to the foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council groups.

The following grants also recommended by council members were approved by the foundation’s board of directors during its quarterly meeting Tuesday:

n $2,300 to Indian River Backpack Food Program to be used as startup funds to offer a new food backpack program at Indian River Middle School.

n $2,000 to the Canton Golden Bear Packs Program to support Canton Central School’s food and nutrition backpack program for the 2014-15 school year.

n $1,500 to the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired of Jefferson County to support the agency’s adaptive aids program.

n $1,500 to the United Service Organization at Fort Drum to purchase supplies for the soldier center.

n $1,000 to Literacy of Northern New York to purchase materials to prepare students for new high school equivalency exams.

Mr. Richardson said the remaining $500 the fall group did not allocate will be given to the spring Youth Philanthropy Council, which is accepting applications for funding. For more information, call Max M. DelSignore, Community Foundation donor services coordinator, at 782-7110.

Other grants awarded by the foundation Tuesday:

n $10,000 to the Wanakena Historical Association to support the Wanakena footbridge restoration/rebuilding effort.

n $5,000 to the Macsherry Library, Alexandria Bay, to fund the purchase of a microfilm reader/printer.

n $5,000 to the Norwood Village Green Concert Series to purchase new lighting infrastructure for its concert venue.

n $2,000 to the St. Lawrence County Arts Council to support the Potsdam Plein Arts Festival.

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