M&T Bank Grantmaking Surpasses $2 Million Milestone

M&T Bank continues to invest locally through the M&T Bank/Partners Trust Charitable Fund (MTPT), a donor-advised fund of The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. With grants totaling more than $476,000 in the first half of 2018, the fund has surpassed the $2 million milestone.

“Supporting the growth and success of local nonprofits is a core part of our service to the community,” said David Manzelmann, M&T Bank Utica market president. “These organizations make a tremendous impact locally, and we are pleased to be able to help further their causes.”

The MTPT fund recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and has awarded more than 140 grants to support a variety of programs and organizations throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties since its inception in 2007.

The fund’s 2018 first and second quarter grants include the following recipients:

Arc Herkimer
Arc Herkimer received a $200,000 challenge grant for renovations to the organization’s community pre-vocational, day habilitation and article 16 clinic and respite service facilities. Funding will be used for facility updates to create a modern environment with enhanced program functionality for the more than 250 individuals with developmental disabilities who receive care. The improvements will enable the programs to reduce group sizes and increase staffing ratios with plans to add three direct support professionals to develop and assist with organized activities.

Compassion Coalition
Compassion Coalition received $25,000 in funding to expand the organization’s affordable grocery store, Your Bargain Grocer, with the addition of a new location to be built on Lincoln Avenue in Utica. The new 12,000-square-foot location will give Compassion Coalition sufficient space to offer a greater variety of products to better serve its diverse customer base.

HomeOwnershipCenter was awarded $10,000 in funding for its 2018 housing partnership program to provide home buyer education courses and financial coaching services for residents of Oneida and Herkimer counties. Services include loan counseling, mortgage referrals and financial literacy courses. HomeOwnershipCenter helps revitalize neighborhoods by encouraging resident involvement and promoting access to safe and affordable housing.

Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
A $16,000 grant has been awarded to the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) to expand its summer fellowship, a 10-week STEM program that provides students with hands-on experience in the research laboratory. MMRL scientists mentor program participants throughout observation and experimentation processes as they become familiar with the methodologies, techniques and procedures involved with ongoing research projects. The program offers training in several disciplines including tissue electrophysiology, cellular electrophysiology, molecular genetics, molecular biology and stem cells. The grant will be used to fund the participation cost of three undergraduate students who will attend the program from May through August.

Mohawk Valley Community College
A $7,600 grant was awarded to Mohawk Valley Community College in support of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program. The program provides year-long classes for students in grades 6 through 12 to learn what it takes to start their own business. Lessons cover a variety of topics including how to develop a written business plan. The grant will help keep tuition for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy accessible to all families and cover the cost of training, material costs and stipends for teachers.

Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees
Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) received an $8,000 grant to fund cultural competency training for local law enforcement. The program was created to help 200 Utica Police Department officers and staff interact with Utica’s diverse population in a culturally effective manner. MVRCR assists refugees, immigrants and individuals with limited English proficiency throughout the integration process to help new residents achieve independence and self-sufficiency with the goal of building community with many cultures.

On Point for College
A $20,000 grant has been awarded to On Point for College to advance the program’s outreach efforts to empower area youth through access to training, college preparation, enrollment assistance and career advisement services. In the program’s first four years, On Point for College has helped more than 1,400 students attend college.

Rome Hospital Foundation
Rome Hospital Foundation received a $24,000 grant to support training costs for 75 geriatric resource nurses and 25 geriatric patient care associates to achieve stage IV exemplar/senior center of excellence status through Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystems Elders. The Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystems Elders program provides quality education specific to elderly patient care for nursing staff and will allow the Rome Memorial Hospital team to utilize best practices and strategies to provide quality, safe, patient-centered care for the growing aging population.

St. Joseph & St. Patrick’s Church
An $11,000 grant was awarded to Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen for renovations. Located in St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Church, the soup kitchen is open seven days a week, serving an average of 4,500 meals every month. Renovations include updates to the kitchen’s air conditioning, flooring and furniture, and will help Mother Marianne’s ensure cleanliness, safety, health and comfort for guests.

Utica Public Library
The Utica Public Library received a $45,000 grant for the children’s room renovation project. Currently located in the basement of the Library, the children’s room will be relocated to the first floor, making the space more accessible to the public. The fully-renovated space will help position children’s programming as a focal point of the Library with the addition of new shelving, furniture and technology improvements.

The Utica Public Library was also awarded $16,000 for its summer reading program and Fandemicon event series. The “Libraries Rock” reading program helps promote children’s literacy with events throughout the summer. In 2017, more than 300 children participated in the Library’s summer reading events. Fandemicon, the Library’s pop culture event, encourages attendees to listen to speakers, play games, visit vendors and enjoy the company of other pop culture enthusiasts. Funding will be used to cover programming costs for these events.

United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area
A $50,000 grant was awarded to the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area to support Ready 4 Kindergarten (R4K), an initiative that improves school readiness and helps determine services needed to prepare children for kindergarten. In partnership with local schools, R4K family school coordinators engage resources to ensure children start school ready to learn and continue their education fully engaged, paving the way for career and life success. The grant will fund an additional family school coordinator to meet the need for programming in rural school districts.

Young Scholars Liberty Partnership Program
Young Scholars was awarded $36,000 in funding for the Summer STEAM Scholars program. The program helps promote learning and interest in STEAM related topics to at-risk students. The grant will help provide classroom supplies, stipends for student attendance, and supplement teachers’ and teaching assistants’ salaries.