The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund recently made $64,969 in grants to seven organizations, bringing the total disbursed from the endowment to more than $693,000 since 2001.
“Hamilton College is pleased to serve as the conduit through which the Town-Gown Fund supports the vibrant and vital organizations that make our community such a desirable place to live,” said Hamilton President and Town-Gown Fund Committee Chair David Wippman. “Through its support of educational, cultural and public safety organizations, this fund provides the resources that often make the difference between a good idea becoming a reality or not.”
The largest grant in 2016 was presented to the Village of Clinton: $20,700 to trim, remove and replace unsafe trees throughout the Village. This award is the first made to the Village in the 16 years that the Town-Gown Fund has been in operation.
The Clinton Central School District and the Clinton Central School District Foundation each received $10,000. The district plans to use the funds to support the middle school’s effort to be recognized as part of the New York State Essential Elements: Schools to Watch program, while the foundation will use its grant to support expansion of the Project Lead the Way program at the high school. Combined, the district and foundation have received more than $264,000 since grants were first awarded in 2001.
Other organizations receiving grants this year included Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps, $6,258 to improve radio communications as part of its consolidation with Waterville and Oriskany Falls ambulance services; an ad hoc committee planning the “Thank You Albert Prettyman” hockey centennial observance in Clinton, $6051 to develop a website; Clinton A Better Chance, $5,000 to construct an outdoor basketball court; The Clinton Fire Department, $4,060 to purchase individual masks for 14 firefighters; and the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, $2,900 to institute of “Power of Produce” Kids Club at the 2017 Farmers Market.
The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund was created in 2001 by anonymous donors to foster goodwill and communication among the college and residents of the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. Since its founding, the endowed fund has received more than $1 million in gifts. Each year, the income earned from investing those donations is used to make grants to organizations in the Town of Kirkland.
As stipulated in the agreement that established the Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund, grants can only be made to organizations and agencies serving the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton, with a primary focus on education.
In addition to Wippman, members of the Town-Gown Committee include local businesspeople Fran Alteri of Alteri’s Restaurant, Corrine Gachowski of Krizia Martin, Oneida County legislator George Joseph of North Star Orchards and Deli Rogers of Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service; Clinton Village Trustee Carrie Evans; Clinton Central Schools Superintendent Stephen Grimm; Hamilton Associate Professor of Psychology Tara McKee; Hamilton Point Investment Advisors President Andrew Burns; and Hamilton College trustees Amy Owens Goodfriend and Jack Withiam. Goodfriend and Burns are natives of Clinton and graduates of Hamilton. Gachowski and Withiam are also Hamilton graduates.
Hamilton Senior Philanthropy Advisor Dick Tantillo and Assistant Vice President for Communications Mike Debraggio serve the committee as ex officio members. Donations to the fund can be made by contacting Tantillo or Debraggio.