Watertown Community Fund to be Started by Bequest from Watertown Mayor DeWitt Middleton
The Northern New York Community Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $55,000 to establish two funds to support current and future community enhancement projects. A $5,000 matching grant is being provided to help launch a drive to replicate the ornamental fencing that once surrounded the historic fountain in the center of Watertown’s Public Square. “I am honored to help lead this effort to enhance the civic pride in our historical downtown,” said Dr. Jason F. White, who is coordinating the endeavor. “We are excited to help partner in launching this grassroots citizen-led fundraising effort to continue to improve upon Downtown Watertown,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation director.
A $50,000 matching grant was awarded to establish a permanent geographic-specific Watertown Community Fund endowment to support future enhancement projects within the City as they arise. “It is hoped that, over time, this fund will grow with additional contributions from people, businesses and organizations who have a special place in their heart for Watertown,” Mr. Richardson. “This is something that can help support a broad range of projects that would not likely be funded by other means and will add to the quality of life here. It also provides a meaningful way to leave a legacy that will forever support Watertown,” he said.
The fund will also have the opportunity for donors to generally designate the types of things they are passionate about and also have named component funds within the overall fund. There are options for donors to provide support both during their lifetimes and as part of their overall legacy planning.
The Watertown Community Fund is being partially supported by the Community Foundation’s DeWitt C. Middleton Fund. Mr. Middleton was Mayor of Watertown from 1883-1884 and made one of the first bequests in to the Community Foundation in 1932.
The funds will be managed and administered by the Community Foundation, in coordination with the City and local community groups. Those interested in contributing to either the fountain fence project or the endowment and having their gift doubled can contact the Foundation at (315) 782-7110.
The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Since 1929, the Foundation has been built and added to from gifts (both while living and through their legacy plans) by individuals and organizations committed to meeting the changing needs of Northern New York, as well as supporting specific charitable interests and passions.