Yates Community Endowment surpasses goal for the permanent fund to support the Yates County community

Exceeding a fundraising goal that was set five years ago, the Yates Community Endowment has raised more than $1 million for the permanent fund that provides current and future support for the Yates County community.

News of the million-dollar milestone was announced Aug. 17 by Tom Argust, a founding member of the endowment and its advisory board, at the annual meeting and grants reception at Keuka College’s Lightner Library.

“Five years ago, we had a dream and hope of raising one million dollars. We knew this was a very ambitious goal. However, we never underestimated the generosity and commitment of the good people in our community,” said Katie Nord Peterson, co-chair of the advisory board.

Gifts to the endowment from the Yates community and beyond now total $1,067,038. Of that amount, more than 30 percent is unrestricted, according to Mary Worth, chair of the endowment’s Development Committee.

Not included in that total was $177,127 that was raised by the community in 2014 after flash flooding destroyed homes, business, and roads in and around Yates County. These contributions were directed to the Keuka Housing Council to help businesses, organizations, and neighbors affected by the disaster.

“Our first five years has been a great success. We now look forward to our next five years of service to our Yates community,” said Lee Beaulac, co-chair of the endowment’s all-local, all-volunteer advisory board.

Since its founding in 2011, the Yates Community Endowment has awarded $162,535 to support projects and programs in Yates County, said Rita Gow, chair of the endowment’s Grants Committee. 

The 2016 grants, totaling $20,270, were awarded by the endowment and several of its affiliate funds to:

• Arc of Yates Inc — To purchase Proloquo2Go Software and iPads to allow non-verbal clients to communicate with family and staff by using this groundbreaking technology. $1,000

• Arc of Yates Inc. — To create natural greenspace and accessible trails at Arc’s program facility on North Avenue, and renovate outdoor space at 18 Spring St. in Dundee to allow residents to garden, view nature, and enjoy the outdoors in a safe setting. $3,770 (Includes $770 from The McMullen Family Fund)

• The Living Well — A six-week program that partners experienced moms with new moms in education classes centered on health, safety, and caring. $4,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund and $831 from the Willie Taaffe Memorial Fund)

• Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes Inc. — To provide personal safety presentations and follow up to Yates County youth in all Pre-k to grade six classrooms on how to keep themselves safe from sexual and domestic violence. $2,500

• Yates County Arts Council Inc. — To support the purchase of initial supplies and a coordinator to run the first summer programs and set up the studio to be self-sustaining thereafter. $4,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund)

• YMCA of Greater Rochester — To support scholarships for Yates County youth to attend Camp Cory for either four students in a three-week leadership program or contribute toward 25 students attending day camp. $5,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund)

For more information on the Yates Community Endowment, visit www.racf.org/Yates or call 585-271-4100. If you are interested in making a contribution to the Endowment, you can mail a check payable to Yates Community Endowment at P.O. Box 311, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527.