By Jared Lindell
With Community Foundation grant season in full swing again, area organizations are beginning to determine their needs for 2007 and how grant funding might be able to fulfill these needs. These needs range from programming to operational to facility upgrades, as a few examples. One specific example of an organization that used CRCF grant funding as a figurative building block in 2006 was the Patterson Library in Westfield.
The Patterson Library was built in the early 1900s and has served as a centerpiece in the town of Westfield for nearly a century. Over the course of the Library’s history, it has circulated approximately six million materials to over 5,000 residents, offers a multimedia collection of over 63,000 items, includes a rare and valuable local history/genealogy collection, and offers a wide variety of cultural and educational programming to the public free of charge. The Library, which is also known as “Westfield’s Magnificent Legacy,” is registered as a National and State Historic landmark. The Library is truly a functional and architectural wonder for the residents of Westfield and all of Chautauqua County.
As with any building of such stature, maintenance becomes a foremost issue that must continually be addressed in order to maintain the look, integrity, and historical value of the structure. This is especially true in a facility that is almost 100 years old. As recently as a few years ago, the Patterson Library began to see deterioration in its roof. Due to this deterioration, leaking began to occur, which caused damage to plaster molding inside the Library’s upper floors and water spotting on the ceilings of two archival rooms. The upper floors of the facility house some of the rarest collections owned by the Library, making this an issue that was a necessity to address.
Therefore, the Library formulated a plan to address the problem by installing a new roofing system with the durability to provide a 30-year manufacturer’s warranty. This will ensure that the Library’s roof is cared for in the many years to come. To raise monies needed to purchase this roofing system and have it installed, the Patterson Library came to the Community Foundation, among many other local funders, for support. Based on the historical value and the importance of the Library to its constituents, the Community Foundation awarded a 2006 Community Service Grant to the library, to serve as a building block for the new roofing system. As of the end of 2006, work needed for removal of old material, installation of the new roofing system, and repair of the internal damage has been completed.
No matter what your organization’s need, Community Foundation grant funding can serve as a great resource to help you reach your goals. The first opportunity of the year comes with Karl Peterson Grants with a deadline of January 31, 2007. Or your organization can take advantage of Field of Interest Grants, which are considered on a monthly basis and tend to be for smaller scale projects or programs. Be sure to visit the Community Foundation’s website at www.crcfonline.org, to review all the possible grant opportunities. Let 2007 be the year that the Community Foundation serves as a building block for all your organizations needs.
Published in the January 21st edition of The Post-Journal