$115,000 Awarded in Third Competitive Round to Strengthen Quality of Life
WATERTOWN — The Rock Charitable Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation has awarded $115,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations in St. Lawrence County to preserve local history, maintain churches and cemeteries in the region, and support a local veteran’s organization.
The legacy fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2019 through a bequest from St. Lawrence County resident and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Marjorie J. Rock, who passed away in February 2017 at age 96. Thanks to her thoughtful generosity and foresight, Ms. Rock’s desire to support St. Lawrence County will be perpetuated for generations to come.
“Given the number of requests and projects funded, it is increasingly clear that this fund fulfills an important need for the people and places of St. Lawrence County,” said Rande Richardson, executive director of the Northern New York Community Foundation. “We are continually grateful that this legacy entrusted to us is something that can make a difference not only today but for generations to come, consistent with Marjorie’s interests and intentions in specific areas.”
The following St. Lawrence County organizations will share $115,000 in grant support:
- First Presbyterian Church of Potsdam, received $25,000 to support improvements to its sanctuary roof and spires and to help with related improvements to the building’s soffit and eaves.
- American Legion Champion-Hobkirk Post 420, Waddington, was awarded $16,200 to support the completion of a recreation area with a stamped concrete pad, patio door access, privacy fence, and exterior lighting.
- St. James Church, Gouverneur, received $15,000 to help restore the large stained-glass window behind its altar. Restoration will come just as the congregation plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024.
- Galilee United Methodist Church, Oswegatchie, was awarded $13,000 to replace its metal roof on the main building and bell tower. Built in 1840, it is the oldest sanctuary in the Northern New York regional United Methodist Conference.
- First United Methodist Church of Norfolk received $11,800 to support roof-related maintenance and critical repairs to its 150-year-old church building.
- First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg was awarded $10,000 to support repairs to several damaged stained-glass windows and installation of durable, crystal-clear safety glass coverings.
- St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Norwood, will receive $10,000 to help restore its Good Shepherd stained-glass window, a Horwood-created window behind the church’s altar.
- St. Andrew’s Church Calvary Cemetery, Norfolk, was awarded $6,000 to repair the foundations of 16 monuments that date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
- Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, Canton, will receive $5,000 to support facade restoration and installation of new front doors to help complete a larger capital project under way at the TAUNY Center in downtown Canton.
- Fairview Cemetery Association, Canton, was awarded $3,000 to remove eight deteriorating trees from its property that are dangerous to nearby stones and roadways.
The Community Foundation administers this permanent charitable legacy fund in collaboration with a seven-member St. Lawrence County-based board of advisors that reviews applications and makes funding recommendations. Advisors include Ruth McWilliams, South Colton; Erik Backus, Potsdam; Fred Hanss, Hannawa Falls; Sarah Maneely, Canton; Chris Rediehs, Canton; Mark Thompson, Watertown; and Keith Zimmerman, Canton.
Applications for 2023 grant funding from the Rock Charitable Fund will be accepted this fall with approximately $100,000 in funding available. Grant support is available to qualified organizations whose missions and efforts align with the fund’s charitable purposes, which are: for the maintenance and preservation of churches and other houses of worship and cemeteries in St. Lawrence County; for the preservation and maintenance of places of legitimate historical significance in the county; and to benefit and/or assist veterans of the United States military who reside in St. Lawrence County for their medical and/or recreational needs. Grants in support of veterans cannot be made directly to individuals.
Contact Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 315-782-7110, to learn more about this opportunity. Applications for 2023 grant funding will be made available this fall in the Community Foundation’s online grant portal at nnycf.org/grants.
About Marjorie J. Rock
Ms. Rock grew up in St. Lawrence County and graduated from Heuvelton High School in 1937. In 1941, she graduated from the three-year nursing program at Flower Fifth Avenue School in New York City. The following year, she joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, serving in North Africa and Italy during World War II. After the war, she attended Teachers College at Columbia University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1948 and a Master of Arts in 1950.
She spent six years teaching in nursing programs, first as an instructor for Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and later at New York City’s Lennox Hill Hospital. She returned to active Army service in 1954 to assist with medical courses for enlisted personnel and helped to establish a medical education system, particularly in the United States, Japan, and Germany. She served as a supervisor, chief nurse, instructor, and director of an advance medical technician school. Her last overseas duty was in Vietnam.
In 1970, she retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel and returned to St. Lawrence County, joining her mother in Ogdensburg to help with her care. She earned many honors during her Army service, including the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. Her only sibling, a brother, was killed in action in 1944 while piloting a P-47 Thunderbolt plane over Normandy. For the rest of her life, Ms. Rock made St. Lawrence County her home while traveling with friends, caring for others, and assisting her church and other organizations, including the Army Nurse Corps Association and other veterans’ groups. She maintained a keen interest in documenting local history and furthering the education of others in the county.
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.