2016 Friends of the Foundation Luncheon Honoring Carol A. & James E. Stitt and 2016 scholarship recipients

This year the foundation honored Carol A. & James E. Stitt as the 2016 Friends of the Foundation. Carol served as the foundation's first executive director, and later, board president. Today she continues to serve as immediate past president of the board. Carol's leadership is the reason CRCF is the strong foundation it is today. Together with her husband, Cutco CEO James Stitt, the couple set up the Stitt Family Fund to provide scholarships to JCC graduates continuing their education at St. Bonaventure University. Not only is Jim a great community business leader, but he's an active volunteer, serving on the board of St. Bonaventure University and the Dresser Rand Challenger Learning Center. Both have worked tirelessly to bring their shared vision for the Greater Olean area to fruition. It is with great pleasure that we honor the Stitts as this year's Friends of the Foundation.

The luncheon brings together donors, scholarship recipients, fund advisers, board members and foundation staff for an afternoon of thanks and companionship.

This year's luncheon was our biggest ever with over 200 in attendance. It's an appropriate reflection of the general growth of the foundation, as we expand our reach and services in our mission to grow good in the community. Including scholarships, the foundation gave over $800,000 in grants this year.

Board President Wendy Brand welcomed all present and recognized new funds, including the OHS Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund and the Hamburg Track Scholarship Fund, just to name a couple. Following a beautiful, heartfelt invocation from Ward "Skip" Wilday, Tanaka VanDruff and Dr. Laura Peterson offered a rendition of "Anything Can Happen."

This year the foundation distributed 80 scholarships, for a total of $112,730 to area students.
This year's student speaker was Rajiv Thandla, an Allegany-Limestone Central School senior and John J. Murphy Family Scholarship and Fred G. Grace Scholarship recipient.
Dr. Yogini Kothari, scholarship committee chair, shared a touching story of her brother, Dr. JC Patel, putting her and two other siblings through school to fulfill their father's promise of an education. "There is no shortage of food or money on this planet. It is a matter of connecting with those in need generation by generation. All we need is genuinely compassionate hearts." -Dr. Yogini Kothari
Congratulations to Carol and James Stitt and our 2016 scholarship recipients. And most importantly, thank you all for helping us grow good.

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