Fourteen Organizations Will Share Support for Broad Range of Projects and Programs to Strengthen Quality of Life
BOONVILLE — Fourteen community projects and organizations that benefit Boonville, Constableville, and Westernville residents will share $58,050 in funding from the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation this year.
Support will help fund programs and projects that broadly impact the quality of life for residents in the three communities. Nearly two-dozen organizations applied for grant funding in the sixth year of the grant program. In 2022, the Sawyer Community Fund awarded $52,100 to 15 community-based organizations. Thanks to the enduring generosity of the Sawyers, the fund has provided more than $250,000 in support to 75 organizations and projects since grant-making efforts began in 2018.
The Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund was established in 2018 as a geographic-specific fund to strengthen and enhance the communities of Boonville, Constableville and Westernville. The Sawyers were passionate about the quality of life in their community, participating in many activities and volunteering with several meaningful organizations. Through the community fund, the Sawyer family established a lasting charitable resource that will forever impact these communities.
“It is remarkable to see the meaningful reach of the Sawyer family’s enduring gift,” said Max DelSignore, Northern New York Community Foundation assistant director. “This year’s grant awards will benefit citizens of all ages, support a variety of community projects and address essential needs. What Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer created speaks to the strength of geographic giving as a true difference-maker for the communities you care about most.”
The following organizations will receive 2023 grant funding from the Sawyer Community Fund:
- Constableville Library Association — $8,000 to help with renovations to the upper level of its building to create a new youth space. Grant funding will be allocated to help purchase new furniture, games, and electronics. The expansion will greatly enhance the educational and recreational opportunities for children and families.
- Erwin Library and Institute — $7,500 to aid with improvements to the basement, which hosts a variety of children’s programs. Upgrades include window replacements and a new heating unit, along with structural repairs and abate issues that have caused water damage and heating loss during winter months.
- Boonville Cemetery Association — $7,000 to address several broken, fallen, and tipped headstones in the 166-year-old cemetery. Funding will be allocated to purchase a tombstone jack and hire an outside firm to power wash older stones.
- Boonville Fire Company — $6,000 to purchase the last three portable digital radios needed to outfit all officers and comply with a required equipment update.
- Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center — $5,000 to support art classes for children ages 5 to 15, a musical production for children ages 7 to 18, a drama program this fall, and a growing LEGO Robotics program for students ages 9 to 12. The wide variety of programs provides children a pathway for enrichment and growth outside of school.
- Constable Hall Association — $4,800 to purchase garden benches for the grounds at Constable Hall. Up to nine benches will be placed near the community gardens and a trail on the hall grounds enabling visitors to enjoy the grounds and enhance their overall experience.
- Adirondack Community Chorus — $4,500 to help with production costs of another musical revue in the Boonville area in spring 2024. The performance will be held at Adirondack Central School’s elementary building. Grant funding will support personnel costs for the performance (writer, director, choreographer, and piano accompanist).
- Village of Boonville — $4,000 to help install a hydration station at Erwin Park near the splash pad to give residents and visitors a covered location for snacks and drinks. Funding will support material costs.
- Lost Trail Snowmobile Club — $3,000 for new safety signage and materials to make trails safer. Enhancements will also provide more directional and business information to riders and trail users. The organization is securing and pursuing additional funding, along with this grant, with a goal to implement upgrades before year-end.
- Constableville Volunteer Fire Company — $2,500 to help purchase a new utility truck to respond to accidents/events in inclement weather, help facilitate community activities, and transport members to training, education, and other functions.
- Boonville Black River Canal Museum — $2,000 to upgrade its website. The museum plans a more modern site that is easier to navigate, obtain research and inform patrons and guests of activities. Grant funding will support project implementation.
- Boonville Search and Rescue Association — $1,575 to purchase training kits for a two-day compass and CPR/wilderness/first aid course. Officials plan to partner with local boy and girl scout organizations to train up to 20 people from ages 13 to adult.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) — $1,175 to acquire supplies to continue the basic income tax return preparation program that serves village residents. Approximately 250 returns were completed last year, and program officials hope to expand the service.
- Young at Heart Senior Citizens Group — $1,000 to provide meaningful activities and access to the elderly population residing in Boonville. The group delivers organized community activities and trips for local seniors.
About Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer
Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer participated in many community events and activities through the years and served on local boards and committees. Mr. Sawyer was a Boonville native, served in the United States Army, and enjoyed a career at Layng Furniture Company and as a supervisor at Boonville’s Erwin Park. Most notably, he was a talented musician. He played tenor saxophone in his high school band and clarinet with the Boonville Village Band. He frequently played with three separate drum and bugle corps in Boonville and Rome. Mr. Sawyer passed away in 2008.
Mrs. Sawyer completed a successful career of more than 45 years at Rome Savings Bank and was an avid follower of the stock market. She also served on the finance committee of Boonville United Methodist Church. She assisted organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center, the Erwin Library, and the Boonville Cemetery. Mrs. Sawyer passed away in 2015.
In 2017, the Kenneth V. Sawyer and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Scholarship Fund was established through the Northern New York Community Foundation to benefit Adirondack Central School graduates. The endowed fund will award two scholarships each year forever, supporting the business and music pursuits of high school graduates from the district.
The application for the next grant cycle for funding from the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund will be available in early 2024.
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.