Nearly $100,000 in Grants Awarded in First Competitive Round
WATERTOWN — The Rock Charitable Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation recently awarded nearly $100,000 to six nonprofit organizations in St. Lawrence County to preserve and maintain churches and cemeteries in the region.
The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary, Canton, received a $35,000 grant to support the first phase in its campaign to restore and protect its historic structure and property. Funding will support repairs to the bell tower, statue, trim, and foundation.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Massena, received a $23,775 grant to restore exterior brickwork and repair windows and landscaping. Deteriorating brick in areas on the east side of the church will be replaced along with other repairs.
Gouverneur First United Methodist Church received a $17,475 grant to restore two stained-glass windows included in a multi-year restoration. The building is veneered with native Gouverneur marble and the trimmings of Potsdam sandstone.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Waddington, received a $14,000 grant to restore its prominent stained-glass window behind the altar. Established in 1818, it is the oldest Episcopal Church north of the Mohawk River. The native stone structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Waddington Historic District.
Lisbon Cemetery Association received an $8,315 grant to support restoration and replacement of more than 100 damaged stones. Monuments will be cleaned, restored, and preserved.
Purmort Cemetery Corp., Depeyster, received a $650 in support to remove a dying maple tree. Its removal will prevent damage that would be caused should the tree be left to fall on its own.
The Rock Charitable Fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2019 through a bequest from St. Lawrence County resident and retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army Marjorie J. Rock, who passed in February 2017 at the age of 96. Because of her foresight and thoughtful generosity, Ms. Rock’s desire to support St. Lawrence County will be perpetuated for generations to come.
“The response to the first round of competitive grants was impressive. It is clear that Marjorie’s legacy is addressing areas of great need in St. Lawrence County,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “Historic preservation and cemetery grants are not always easy to find, but this fund can help get a project off the ground or see it to completion. In future years we hope to also assist veterans as one of Marjorie’s three focus areas. We are grateful for the opportunity to help improve and strengthen the region in these meaningful and enduring ways forever.”
The Community Foundation administers this permanent charitable legacy fund in collaboration with a six-member St. Lawrence County-based board of advisors that reviews applications and makes funding recommendations. Advisors include Ruth McWilliams, South Colton; Sarah Maneely, Canton; Fred Hanss, Hannawa Falls; Keith Zimmerman, Canton; and Erik Backus, Potsdam.
Applications for 2021 grant funding from the Rock Charitable Fund will be accepted this fall with up to $100,000 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 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 will only be awarded to qualified organizations and 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 obtain a grant application or learn more about this funding opportunity.
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 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.