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Niagara Area Foundation awards more than $50,000 in grants for county residents

by jmaloni

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Fri, Apr 18th 2014 09:40 pm

2014 council members announced

The Niagara Area Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $50,000 were awarded to nine Niagara County nonprofit organizations in 2013. The grants, ranging up to $10,000, were awarded to support the health, human services, arts, civic needs, community development, education and environmental needs of Niagara County. Preference was given to applicants that have the greatest impact on positive youth development and demonstrate collaboration with other organizations.

The 2013 NAF grant recipients include:

  • Dale Association
  • Invent Now
  • Isaiah 61 Project
  • Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Clubs
  • People and Possibilities
  • Twin Cities Community Outreach
  • Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County
  • YWCA of Niagara
  • YWCA of the Tonawandas

"The Niagara Area Foundation is proud to have provided support for nine deserving nonprofit organizations," said NAF Chairwoman Elizabeth (Betsy) Diachun. "Through our grant awards and the early childcare quality improvement project, we're able to support our mission to connect people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Niagara County.

"This important work would not be possible without the donors and clients who have asked us to make the most of their generosity. The Niagara Area Foundation councilmembers and I are proud to engage in the co-creation of solutions for the benefit of our community."

The Niagara Area Foundation Council Announces 2014 Officers

The Niagara Area Foundation also announced its 2014 council members and officers. The council includes representatives from across Niagara County. Officers include:

•Chair: Diachun, a Niagara County resident for more than 50 years (currently residing in Lewiston), has been a council member since its inception in 2000. She has served on several nonprofit boards and community-based committees, including Planned Parenthood, Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity, the Niagara Beautification Commission, and many others. Diachun will be dedicating herself to the objectives and ongoing initiatives of the Niagara Area Foundation that help build partnerships throughout the county.

•Vice Chair: Nancy Orsi of Youngstown is a community leader and retired principal of Fricano Primary School, within the Starpoint Central School District. She has served as a board member for the Town of Porter and has been a longtime member of the Niagara Area Foundation council. As vice chair, Orsi works to expand the County's ability to provide quality early-childhood education. 

•2nd Vice Chair: Melissa Morinello is a resident of Niagara Falls who carries an extensive background in marketing/communications. Currently an entrepreneur and the owner of Sparkle! Marketing and Events, Morinello is devoted to helping the Niagara Area Foundation meet and fulfill the needs of the county and improve the quality of life for Niagara County residents.

•Treasurer:Vincent J. Davis of Lockport is currently a treasury management consultant for M&T Bank. He remains active in the Niagara County community and is currently chairman of the Governors Board of Regents for the Kenan Center in Lockport. Davis' commitment and service as a Niagara Area Foundation council member will help expand the foundation's programming and leadership initiatives.

•Secretary:Janice Flood Nichols, M.Ed., also of Lockport, is a medical counselor from the University of Pittsburgh. She has devoted her professional life to the care of the physically disabled and to the eradication of polio as a vaccine advocate. She is the author of several books, texts and articles in the health-related field. As a member of the Niagara Area Foundation council, Nichols will work to enhance the quality of life of Niagara County residents through health and education initiatives.

Newly appointed council members include:

Mary Ann Oliver of Niagara Falls is the managing attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services Inc.'s Niagara County office. Oliver earned her law degree at SUNY Buffalo and undergraduate degree at SUNY College at Geneseo. She has been dedicated to providing legal services to Niagara County's low-income residents for 25 years. Her volunteer community involvement includes being a present board member and officer of Family & Children's Services of Niagara and a former board member and officer of the Main Street Professional and Business Association.

Patricia George of Lockport is a prior Niagara Area Foundation council member, who returns to the council this year. An attorney in Lockport, George specializes in elder law, estates/estate planning and real estate law. In addition to her service on the Niagara Area Foundation council, George is the president of the board of commissioners for the Lockport Cable Commission and serves on the boards at the YWCA of the Tonawandas and the United Way of Greater Niagara.

Other long-serving council members include:

•Kenneth Franasiak of Wheatfield

•Michael A. Piette of Lockport

•Cathy Walker of Lewiston

The Niagara Area Foundation was established as a division of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in 2000 by a group of Niagara County individuals who work to provide supports and charity-oriented philanthropic initiatives for residents in Niagara County. Currently, the NAF has more than $5.2 million in assets.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The foundation's mission is "Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York."

Visit www.cfgb.org.  

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