Big impact, big investments made so far in 2015 in Herkimer County and Oneida County

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Through innovative partnership and investment in programs and projects with long-term potential impact, The Foundation provided support in areas of education, economic development, recreation and more during the first half of 2015. Some of these highlights below:

Rust 2 Green Utica Urban Studio: $50,000: A partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County gives support to the Rust 2 Green Utica Urban Studio which works in Utica’s city hall and in Utica neighborhoods to identify city problems, opportunities and resources. The studio focuses on community-based planning and project implementation, grantwriting, volunteer development, community engagement and empowerment in an effort to build economic sustainability and improve quality of life.

Rust 2 Green Initiatives you may recognize: The Oneida Square flower sculptures, downtown Utica’s branding

Syracuse University: $25,000: This partnership with the Veteran’s Outreach Centeer brings the already successful Syracuse program to Utica to provide legal counsel to local veterans seeking to live, work and succeed independently. Law school students from the university provide counsel twice per week in the Utica satellite office.

EMS Global: $1,300: This investment made through the donor-advised Keller Family Fund provided the funding to translate CPR instruction documents into Vietnamese for the CPR Anytime for Immigrants and Refugees Program.

Abraham House: $14,000 will purchase new windows and insulation for the program’s building where dedicated staff and volunteers provide critical end-of-life care.

Utica Zoo: $100,000 allowed our community’s zoo to make critical renovations to the infirmary/surgery/quarantine/education building. The investment will allow the zoo to begin the process of accreditation, vital for the zoo’s future success as a regional recreation attraction. This will mark phase one of an exciting process of renovation.

American Farmland Trust: $7,500 invests in leadership and advocacy training for elected officials, farmers and town planning boards in Oneida County for the purposes of protecting one of our county’s greatest assets – its farmland.

City of Utica: The Foundation invested $10,000 in partnership with the city who invested $5,000 to study the feasibility for a potential Artspace project in downtown Utica. If the study returns positive, the city can begin the process of creating a space for artists to live and work as well as showcase and sell their works.

Parkway Center: A $10,000 investment will help the center develop a three-year road map to strengthen services and increase sustainability based on statistics that suggest by 2025 more than 20 percent of residents in Herkimer and Oneida counties will be 65 and older with that figure doubling nationwide by 2030.

Cornerstone Church: A $3,422 investment for a tool-lending program will give West Utica residents the actual tools to rebuild their neighborhoods.