A Year of Growing Good

2016 was a busy but infinitely fulfilling year here at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation. It's been six years now since I took on the Executive Director role at CRCF, and I continue to be amazed by the generosity of this community every day. As the year comes to a close, I want to take a few minutes to look back on 2016 and all that CRCF did this year with your help.

Top left: A grant from the Kids and Cancer Fund helped Canvas 4 a Cure provide paintings for childhood cancer patients. Top right: A Community Fund grant purchased safe cribs for needy families. Bottom left: The Santa Claus Lane Fund purchased new decorations for the rejuvenated Santa Claus Lane on North Union Street. Bottom right: The Mildred Milliman Fund provided a sizable annual grant to the Olean General Hospital Foundation.
A grant from the Community Fund brought fresh vegetables to Olean Housing Authority residents by way of the Veggie Mobile. The program also educated participants on cooking healthy meals and building a healthy diet.
Top left: Breast cancer fighters took a day vacation to enjoy Niagara Falls with the Pink Pumpkin Project. Top right: The Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Olean Little League Fund granted its annual disbursement to support the league. Bottom left: Grants from the Kaleigh Wilday Endowment Fund provided special youth programming, like Bwana Jim who showcased exotic animals, to the Cuba Circulating Library. Bottom right: The F. Donald Kenny Fund helped support the Southern Tier Biennial art gallery with showcased the work of Wayne Claypatch
Left:The Carroll and Dolores Anstaett Gift Tree Fund provides gift certificate to disadvantaged families adopted by the Gift Tree program. Top right: Pink Pumpkin 5k participants donning the trademark pink color and wide smile Pink Pumpkin Project is known for. Bottom right: The Olean Meditation Center was able to open its new Windfall Gardens Trail thanks in part to a Community Fund grant to help it purchase land and its involvement with the Foundation.
The Friends of the Foundation Luncheon brought together donors, fund advisers, board members and more to honor long-time supporters of the Foundation and all of the year's scholarship recipients.
This year we honored Carol A. and James E. Stitt (bottom left) as the Friends of the Foundation honorees. Mrs. Stitt guided the growth of the Foundation from its very infancy and served as its first executive director. Mr. and Mrs. Stitt continue to be a true blessing to the Foundation. True to the title of their honor, they have remained real friends of this organization, consistently giving of their "time, talent and treasure." Allegany-Limestone's Rajiv Thandla (top right) wowed us with his wisdom as the student speaker and implored his fellow scholarship recipients to make giving back to future students a priority, just as the community and the Foundation had given to them.
We hosted the area's community foundations for a special networking event that included a special tour of Four Mile Brewery.
We hosted this year's Board Networking event, which brings the area's community foundations together to share ideas and updates. We were thrilled to show off our new office and the building we are so lucky to occupy. We also took the other foundations to tour a local gem, Four Mile Brewing. It was a terrific and enriching night of cooperation and camaraderie.
This year marked our sixth annual installment of Nonprofit Networking Day, which brings the area's nonprofit staff, board members, volunteers and more together to network and share ideas.
Nonprofits from all over the area attended this year, including those from Allegany, Cattaraugus, McKean (PA) and Chautauqua counties, Buffalo, Warren (PA) and more. This year's speakers inspired and informed, and I think I speak for those who attended when I say we left feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.
This year we said goodbye for now to five board members, including Robert Simon, Barbara Chew, Dr. Naheed Hilal, Audra Stevens and Ward "Skip" Wilday. These five have done so much for the Foundation, and we will all miss them dearly. Barbara Chew, who has been a board member since the Foundation's very beginning was also named an honorary lifetime board member.

And with that, I want to thank you for your support of all of our funds at CRCF this year. I look forward to growing even more good with you all in 2017.

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