Late Potsdam Teen Remembered Through Efforts to Support Students, Community
POTSDAM — Riley Basford was a positive force for good in his Potsdam community.
His inspiring spirit made friends and family feel deeply connected and appreciated. He worked hard, loved the outdoors, and made those around him always smile. After unexpectedly passing away last year, it remained important to Riley’s family and friends to honor him in an enduring way.
The Riley Basford Legacy Fund has been established at the Northern New York Community Foundation to honor the life of the 15-year-old Potsdam Central School student. The charitable mission and purpose of the fund is to support youth in their pursuit of safe and meaningful experiences throughout their lives and in the community.
“Our hope for Riley’s legacy fund and its outreach is to help us heal by supporting the community that supported us in our darkest days and continues to want to honor and remember Riley with us,” said Mary Rodee, Riley’s mother, and Darren Basford, Riley’s father.
The Riley Basford Legacy Fund supports three important focus areas. A top priority is to provide funding for education, training, and awareness to St. Lawrence County schools for programs and projects centered on cyberbullying and cyber safety, anti-bullying, and character education.
“We believe the best way to remember Riley is to foster strong relationships with youth and educate all community members about the hazards of social media,” Mrs. Rodee and Mr. Basford said.
Riley’s fund will also support students with demonstrated needs at Potsdam Central School and help students enrolled at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES with funding to secure materials for classes or help BOCES graduates entering the workforce.
“Honoring and remembering Riley with this legacy fund is very important to us,” said Mrs. Rodee and Mr. Basford. “Having the support of the Community Foundation to guide us in starting this fund during our time of grief has been comforting and uplifting.”
The Community Foundation will help steward the application process for the Riley Basford Legacy Fund. An advisory committee of family, friends, and citizens will partner with the Community Foundation to determine grants from Riley’s fund from time to time.
“To have the trust of Riley’s family and play a small role in creating a lasting legacy for him is a great privilege,” said Max DelSignore, Community Foundation assistant director. “The fund’s purpose and who it supports will ensure Riley will be remembered as a difference-maker in the Potsdam community and across St. Lawrence County forever. The Community Foundation is honored to help fulfill this mission for him and his family.”
“Riley’s nickname was ‘Rizer,’” added Mrs. Rodee and Mr. Basford. “We are being called to be ‘Rizers.’ A ‘Rizer’ identifies and offers support to others in need, and a ‘Rizer’ also asks for and takes help when they need it.”
To help build the Riley Basford Legacy Fund, please make gifts to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, N.Y. 13601, and designate your gift to the Riley Basford Legacy Fund. You may also access secure online giving at nnycf.org. To learn more about the application and fund’s purpose, contact Mr. DelSignore at email@example.com, or 315-782-7110.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors, and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.