Getting up close and personal with generosity

July 20, 2017

At Adirondack Foundation, we’re incredibly lucky to work with generous people and amazing community organizations toward the common goal of strengthening communities across the region. This collaboration was on full display last week, as staff and donors traveled to AuSable Forks and Plattsburgh to see firsthand the impact of our grantmaking.

First stop was the Tahawus Center, a former Masonic Temple on Main Street in downtown AuSable Forks. Rebecca Kelly and Craig Brashear purchased the property in 2009 and have been working to revitalize the historic landmark ever since. Now, it’s home to arts and cultural activities as well as community programming like the Day of Inquiry, held June 24. The day included three workshops: Early Childhood Parenting, Decision Making and Risk Taking, and Human Rights and Leadership.

Adirondack Foundation’s Generous Acts Fund provided support for the event.

“It was a chance for the community to come to the center and learn skills to help them grow,” said Brashear.

Next up was a visit with staff at Planned Parenthood of the North Country, where we heard two stories about life-saving care provided by the Plattsburgh-based clinic.

Our day continued in Clinton County, where we toured the Strand Theatre with Executive Director Joshua Kretser, who is also Plattsburgh’s deputy mayor, and Development Director Karen Dispo-De Boos. Thanks to an almost overwhelming level of commitment and generosity from the community, the board, and staff, the iconic downtown theater sparkles again and, with the next door arts center, is an increasingly lively cultural hub.

This year, the foundation’s Special & Urgent Needs Fund awarded a grant to the Strand for the air conditioning unit that is essential for summer programming.

“We’re so grateful that you came through to help us continue our mission of providing top-notch arts program for our community,” Kretser said.

Our last stop was Healthy Families NY, which serves Clinton and Franklin counties. Esther Piper, a member of the foundation’s Birth to Three Alliance, was overseeing a staff training funded in part by a grant from our Generous Acts Fund. Here, Piper’s staff members were learning new skills to use in the field during home visits with vulnerable families.

The most inspiring part of this last visit was learning that the parents helping to lead the training were once beneficiaries of Healthy Families NY’s services. Fast forward several years, and the father is working for Piper and her team, the mother is going back to school, and their two young children are healthy and happy.

“To have support from generous people and organizations like Adirondack Foundation means we can create more happy endings like the one we saw with this family,” Piper said.

Learn how you can support good things happening in your community: give us a call at (518) 523-9904.

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