VanNess Family Fund Now Accepting Proposals for up to $10,000 in Grant Support
POTSDAM — Nonprofit organizations that serve the greater Potsdam area may now apply for 2020 grant funding from the John and Dorotha VanNess Family Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation.
Up to $10,000 is available this year. Successful projects, programs or initiatives should have yearlong, meaningful impact and support the quality of life and vibrancy of the greater Potsdam area. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, health and wellness, arts and culture, economic development, recreational programs, community revitalization and beautification, and more.
The John and Dorotha VanNess Family Fund is a permanent grantmaking fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation that will forever support programs, activities and initiatives to advance the general welfare of the Potsdam community.
Nonprofits with a 501 (c)(3) classification that serve the Potsdam area are encouraged to apply. Agencies or organizations that do not have this classification are required to partner with an eligible nonprofit, municipality, or local agency as a fiscal sponsor. Agencies seeking funding must confirm partnership with an eligible nonprofit or fiscal sponsor when submitting a proposal.
Completed applications must be received at the Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601, or postmarked by Friday, Oct. 23. Grant awards will be determined by the end of the year. Contact Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs, 315-782-7110, or firstname.lastname@example.org, to obtain a grant application or learn more about this opportunity to enhance the Potsdam area.
The John and Dorotha VanNess Family Fund awarded its first grants to help strengthen quality of life in the greater Potsdam area last year. Recipients were:
- North Country Children’s Museum, Potsdam, $2,500 to support its STEAM learning program.
- Potsdam Holiday Fund, $500 to support its “Santa’s Workshop” program.
About the John and Dorotha VanNess Family Fund
This family legacy fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2018 to honor and recognize the lifelong community spirit of John S. and Dorotha T. VanNess, who were actively engaged in the Potsdam community for decades through local business and volunteer efforts.
John S. VanNess was active in Potsdam government and served as village mayor from 1955 to 1961. He also held leadership positions with the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, Potsdam Rotary Club and was a trustee at Paul Smith’s College.
Dorotha (Ticknor) VanNess began teaching at Potsdam High School in 1939 and later joined her husband in the management of Sunshine Stores. She served as president of the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Guild and was an active member of Potsdam United Methodist Church.
Their daughter, Susan J. Sewall, admired her parents’ public service and commitment to improving the place they loved. Before her untimely passing in 2017, she made plans to establish this fund to forever honor her parents and their long-standing commitment to the betterment of the Potsdam area. She believed that strong, healthy, quality-of-life enhanced communities help provide the backdrop from which many other aspects of community vibrancy and development can occur.
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.