The Alexandra G. Kogut Memorial Fund was created by Becky and Mark Kogut in honor of their daughter, Alexandra, to support community organizations that share her passion and kindness. Each year, several grants are awarded through this donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, allowing Alexandra’s spirit to live on. Grants are awarded to programs and organizations that reflect Alexandra’s interests, including swimming and her love for children.
"Thanks to generous support from the Alexandra G. Kogut Memorial Fund, we will be able to expand our collection of children's picture and chapter books in non-English languages," said Chris Sagaas, Director of Utica Public Library. "These items are often expensive to purchase, but their necessity in a community like ours is obvious. Books in home languages of the area's refugee and immigrant populations not only complement English language acquisition learning going on in our schools, but foster cross-cultural understanding and allow for family-based, multi-generational social reading experiences."
The fund has supported the following community organizations in 2022:
House of the Good Shepherd
A grant to purchase equipment for Kinship Kits for children and families in the Foster Care Kinship Program in honor of Josh Zbytniewski.
Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC)
A grant to support the Summer Sports Program, a program to honor creativity, diversity and the arts for local youth in honor of Grady Moyer.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace – Utica Chapter
A grant to purchase lumber and mattresses to build beds for local children in honor of Vinny Maugeri.
Thea Bowman House
A grant in support of Thea Bowman’s summer reading program, Reading Rockets, which aims to improve literacy among elementary children in Herkimer and Oneida counties by focusing on reading, writing and spelling.
Town of Inlet
A grant toward the purchase of marine buoys for Arrowhead Beach, improving the protection of the beach and boaters.
Utica Public Library
A grant to purchase picture books for children in foreign languages, including Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Swahili, Dari and Pashto.
YWCA of the Mohawk Valley
A grant to Hall House, an emergency shelter of the YWCA, to purchase a couch for its Children’s Room.