Lewis County projects receive financial support from local community fund

Lewis County projects and programs will receive added financial boosts from the geographically specific funds administered through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

The Michael Brown Fund has been supplemented with a bequest from late longtime Lewis County resident Mr. Brown, and, beginning in 2015, will offer $25,000 annually to the greater Lowville area. Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said that funds, combined with awards through the George R. Davis Fund, will go toward parks, projects, school needs and historic preservation.

“Word has spread,” he said, regarding the availability of Lewis County-specific grant awards through the foundation.

The George Davis Fund committee, made up of the superintendent of Lowville Academy and Central School, clerk for the Lewis County judge and the Lowville mayor, reviewed more than $58,000 in funding requests, which Mr. Richardson said was the “largest request pool yet.”

“That illustrates the need and interest for resources available,” he said.

Mr. Davis selected the three aforementioned positions as the review committee, as he served as Lewis County judge for more than 20 years. He died in 2010, and lived in Lowville most of his life.

The board approved on Tuesday the committee’s recommendations totaling $10,000. Nearly $30,000 has been awarded through the George Davis Fund over the past few years. Grants awarded were:

■ $2,000 to the town of Lowville for continued restoration of historic gravestones at Jackson Street cemetery.

■ $2,000 to the Lewis County Agricultural Society to purchase a gazebo as part of an improvement project for the entrance of the Lewis County Fairgrounds.

■ $2,000 to the village of Lowville to assist with the purchase of pole-mounted lights to be used for new Christmas decoration displays in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial park.

■ $500 to the Lowville Food Pantry to purchase school supplies as part of the organization’s “Stuff the Bus” event, which will benefit local youths in need.

■ $500 to First Presbyterian Church to support the Stow Square monument project.

■ $3,000 to the Lewis County Historical Society in support of the organization’s floor renovation project. The project also was funded by grants from the Community Foundation’s board-designated grant-making fund and the Michael Brown Fund.

Mr. Richardson said the Community Foundation is working out implementation details for the latter fund, as board members will figure out how the awarding of the $25,000 in grants annually will play out. Up until now, grants were awarded through the Michael Brown Fund as needed, Mr. Richardson said.

By Rebecca Madden, Times Staff Writer