ProAction programs receive $50,000 grant from McGowan Charitable Fund

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Stephanie Bates, Assistant Director of Community and Preventative Services Pro Action; Marianne Brand, McGowan Fund Board Director; Laura Rossman, Executive Director Pro Action

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has awarded a $50,000 grant to Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc. for two programs — one that will help families replace personal items lost in the May floods, and one that will help educate the community about poverty.

Marianne Brand, McGowan Charitable Fund Board Director says, “McGowan Charitable Fund is honored to be able to help such amazing programs. The tragedy of the flood that hit our community with such devastation also showed the fantastic capacity of this community to come together in its efforts of clean up and support.”


The Pro Action CHAMP Yates County Flood Relief program has been awarded $25,000 to provide small grants to individuals and families to assist in replacing personal belongings and other needs unmet by other sources, including school clothes.

Once an application is received and approved, items will be purchased or provided usually within one week. Pro Action has worked with local merchants so funds can be spent locally if possible to help to local economy recover. Pro Action is supplementing this grant award through the use of our donated household goods program, supplied by Bed Bath and Beyond. All applicants will also get connected with any other community services they may need

Applications are available Friday, Aug. 29.

The one page application is available on line at:

The application can be picked up at:

Keuka Housing Council

160 Main Street #1

Penn Yan, NY 14527

The Living Well

121 Elm Street

Penn Yan, NY 14527

Pro Action Yates Office for the Aging

417 Liberty Street

Suite 1116

Penn Yan, NY 14527

Modeste Bedient Library

3699 New York 54A

Branchport, NY 14418

Penn Yan Elementary, Middle, and High School

Please return completed applications to: or fax to 315-536-5514 or drop off/mail to Pro Action CHAMP – Yates Flood Relief, 417 Liberty Street Suite 1116 Penn Yan, NY 14527


The Poverty Simulation program has been awarded $25,000 and will educate our communities about poverty. “I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Poverty Simulation held in Yates County in May 2014. It was not only an eye opening experience, it deeply touched my soul. I am now rejuvenated at a deeper level to help those who are disadvantaged,” says Brand.

The poverty rate in Yates County is 16.4 percent; over 1,500 children (25.7 percent) in Yates County live in poverty. Over half of Yates County public school children are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

The poverty rate in Steuben County is 16.2 percent; over 5,600 children (25.2 percent) in Steuben County live in poverty. Forty-eight percent of public school children in Steuben County are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

A Poverty Simulation is a realistic portrayal of living in a low income household for one month.

Participants face the challenges that millions of Americans face as they attempt to keep their home safe, the utilities on, their medications current, their kids in school and fed. The simulation helps participants understand that poverty is about a lack of resources such as support systems, positive relationships, and role models, having the mental abilities and acquired skills to deal effectively with everyday life.

Insight gained by participants will help them understand the choices poverty forces, and will help them respond to people in poverty.

Pro Action of Steuben and Yates plans to focus on offering simulations to Steuben and Yates County school districts. Poverty Simulations are already scheduled for Penn Yan School District and Hammondsport Central School District as a staff development opportunity.

For more questions on CHAMP Yates County Flood Relief, email or call 315-536-5515. For more information on Poverty Simulations, email or call 315-536-5515.