Nine agencies received grant support from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation’s Community Fund for new projects and initiatives.

YMCA of The Twin Tiers received $2,500 to support Out of School Learning Labs that provide safe spaces and technology for students to utilize in the midst of school closures and a hybrid school schedule.

The YMCA has set up five locations to provide out of school learning labs and is currently serving children from the Olean, Portville, Allegany-Limestone, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Hinsdale, Ellicottville and Pioneer school districts.

YMCA of the Twin Tiers CEO Barb Sweitzer said that the impact of the grant will be both immediate and long-lasting.

“The impact will last decades because each child served in the program has been given the opportunity to keep up with their school work and not fall behind causing educational inequities and to be in a caring and safe environment during a time of uncertainty,” she said.

Other grants awarded:

• Connecting Communities in Action (formerly Cattaraugus Community Action) received $2,500 to support a new initiative, Trauma Informed Action Labs, to educate and train organizations involved with the Trauma Informed Coalition (TIC) in Cattaraugus County in order to build community resources to prevent and overcome trauma.

The TIC is composed of 40 organizations and 133 members. TIC meetings and efforts are organized and facilitated by Cattaraugus Community Action.

• Ellicottville Central School received $2,500 to supply iPads to students to help with remote learning.

• Kevin Guest House, which provides housing for people undergoing medical treatments in the Buffalo area, received $2,500 to help the agency provide for improved safety of immunocompromised patients and caregivers, a need underscored due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Mercy Flight Inc. received $2,000 for the purchase of Sigma Spectrum IV Pumps, which allow for consistent, regulated delivery of life-saving medications that require very specific doses.

• Southern Tier Health Care Systems received $2,000 in support of its Cribs for Kids Program, which provides safe and reliable cribs to families in need to help reduce injuries and deaths in infants related to unsafe cribs.

• Brookside Community, a low-income senior housing facility in Olean, received $1,530 for enhancements to outdoors spaces and facility security. The facility provides apartments to 38 individuals 62 and older.

• The Ellicottville Skate Park Fund received $1,500 toward its campaign to build a concrete skate park in the city of Ellicottville. All contributions and grants to the project are matched by the Skate Park Project, a joint effort led by Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and Tony Hawk Foundation.

• The Little Valley Food Pantry received $1,000 to purchase a new freezer for the pantry, which has been dedicated to serving residents of the Cattaraugus and Little Valley area throughout the pandemic.

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit said these grants are a signal of the Community Fund’s growth and its value in meeting the changing needs of the community.

“The Community Fund is our vehicle for unrestricted grantmaking, and it serves an important purpose to fund new projects that make life better for those living in Cattaraugus County,” she said. “We have all seen community needs shift rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is a blessing to be able to step up to meet some of those needs through this fund.”

Donations can be made to the Community Fund at CRCF, 301 N. Union St., Olean, N.Y., 14760 or online at

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