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Medina Sandstone Trust approves grants for 8 local projects

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 February 2020 at 9:24 am

MEDINA – The Medina Sandstone Trust is thanking the community for its years of support, which have allowed the Trust to honor requests for annual grants.

The community endowment just completed its ninth year of making small grants to local programs, projects and organizations, which during that period total nearly $40,000.

Members of the grant selection committee for the past nine years have been Kelly Kiebala, Mark Kruzynski, Cindy Robinson, Cal Tuohey and chair Mike Zelazny. They met in November and have announced this year’s eight grant recipients.

The Arc of Genesee/Orleans plans to rebuild the nature trail at Camp Rainbow to make it wheelchair accessible. St. John’s Episcopal Church’s grant will assist in the restoration of a stained glass window sill and frame. Orleans Recovery Hope Begins Here will purchase a pop-up shelter, table and chairs for community education programs. Boxwood Cemetery Commission’s grant will enable them to rehab the tombstone of the first Medina resident. And the Medina Historical Society will use their grant for their monthly speaker series.

In addition, the grants contributed to some larger programs. Orleans County Adult Learning Services (OCALS) grant will partially fund a new community outreach program. Orleans County YMCA’s grant will help with the cost of their Before and After School Enrichment Program, while P.Raising Kids Child Care Center will use the money to help upgrade their kitchen.

“Scores of worthy projects have been supported since 2010 and the grants have covered a wide range,” Zelazny said.

Grants run from $200 to $600 or even, in some unusual cases, $1,000. Zelazny gave examples of typical grants in past years. These include money for the local library to digitize historic hometown newspapers, dollars for stonework repairs and interior upgrading at the YMCA, placing of historical plaques downtown, help for installation of a downtown sound system, an annual scholarship for a graduating Medina High School senior and much more.

During the past nine years, about 75 grants have been approved the citizen selection committee.

“Late each autumn, we invite grant applications and even though the amounts given are modest, they are genuinely helpful to many projects which benefit our community, Zelazny said.

The Medina Sandstone Trust was created in 2009 as an endowment, managed by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. CFGB was established 100 years ago and has a rock solid reputation for financial management, and over the years has managed 900 such endowments. That management has been trustworthy, according to Sandstone Society treasurer Craig Lacy. The original $18,000 in seed money has grown steadily each year, he said.

Sandstone Society board members Lacy, Margaret Schreck, David Miller and James Hancock manage annual investments in the trust.

This year the Medina Sandstone Trust celebrates its 10th year of awarding grants and scholarships to enrich the Medina area. To mark that anniversary, the Medina Sandstone Society is planning special events and fundraising projects.

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