By Rose S. Prinzi
Remember your thrill the day you received your new two-wheeler? As you learned how to ride with confidence, the training wheels were taken off and you pedaled away on your own. Then, you headed to a friend’s house without asking for a ride. You felt all grown up. It was your first “Independence Day”.
But, with independence, came responsibility. There were rules to learn and obey. A helmet was bought. The importance of following the rules was repeatedly reinforced by your parents, teachers and law enforcement. Recently, Panama Central School held a Bike Rodeo to remind their students how to be safe on their bikes this summer.
They applied for a Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Field of Interest Grant to purchase bike helmets. During the week leading up to the rodeo, they held a poster contest and safety presentations were made by the Sheriff’s Department. On the day of the rodeo, participating children had their bike equipment and helmets inspected. Panama Central School hosted this program for local students and for those outside the District.
The Community Foundation’s Field of Interest Committee recommended an award be made from the Rollin A. and Annie P. Fancher Fund, which is designated for projects that assist youth in our community. The Panama Central School was able to receive financial support to purchase helmets for those students who did not have a helmet or to replace a helmet in disrepair.
With the grant, volunteer organizers were able to purchase 134 helmets. The organizers realize it is a small price to invest in keeping our children healthy and safe. To the Foundation, it is a major success if, through this grant, even one child is spared from any undue injuries. This application demonstrates the diversity of funding which the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has to offer our area.
The Field of Interest Grant process supports a broad range of assistance to not-for-profit organizations involved in the arts, education, healthcare or services for children. The financial support is awarded based on matching the applicant’s request with the purpose of the fund from which the grant monies originate.
Since 1978, The Foundation has been fulfilling the wishes of thousand of donors as they look to the future. Just like the Franchers, individuals have given to the Foundation with the intention of having a special project or organization receive financial support for generations to come.
If you are interested in establishing a fund to benefit your personal interest or passion, call our office at 661-3390 to discuss options available through your Community Foundation.