The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund recently distributed grants totaling $79,450 to seven non-profit and public safety organizations serving the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton.

Three organizations received at least $15,000 this year: Clinton Central Schools, the Clinton Central School Foundation, and the Village of Clinton. Other recipients include the Kirkland Art Center, the Clinton Fire Department, the Clinton Early Learning Center, and the Country Pantry. [The full list, including amounts and purpose, follows.]

The Town-Gown Fund has awarded more than $1 million since grants were first made in 2001.

“For 20 years, the Hamilton Town-Gown Fund has been making grants to local nonprofit and public safety organizations that serve residents in the Village of Clinton and the Town of Kirkland,” said Hamilton President David Wippman. “These organizations enhance the quality of life in our community, and we’re pleased to assist them in fulfilling their respective missions.”

Wippman said a total of $10,000 was awarded to five organizations when grants were first made in 2001, but the overall value of the awards has averaged about $75,000 in each of the past five years. (The Town-Gown Fund suspended grant-making activity in 2020 due to the pandemic, but carried over those funds to account for a record total of $157,000 in 2021.)

The Clinton Central School (CCS) District has been the largest beneficiary of Town-Gown grants, with 20 awards totaling more than $248,000. That includes $15,450 this year for the Science Olympiad Team and Esports Team HQ. CCS also received the largest Town-Gown grant ever, $25,000 in 2014, to create a modern language learning lab.

Town-Gown committee members also announced that each year the fund will identify a grant in memory of Hamilton alumnus Andy Burns, a native Clintonian and long-time community leader who died in 2020 and was instrumental in the founding of the Town-Gown Fund in 2001. This year, committee members designated the $15,000 grant to the Village of Clinton in Burns’ memory. A $5,000 grant to the Country Pantry was also awarded in Burns’ memory in 2021.

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 $1.3 million in gifts. Each year, the income earned from investing those donations is used to make grants. As stipulated in the agreement that established the 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.

Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund 2022 Grants

  • Clinton Central Schools: $15,450 for the Science Olympiad Team and ESports Team HQ
  • Clinton Central School Foundation: $15,000 to add a Morning Program for Primary Students and to upgrade technology to broadcast morning announcements
  • Clinton Early Learning Center: $6,500 to purchase 100 yards of playground surface material
  • Clinton Fire Department: $10,000 toward the purchase of battery-operated extrication equipment
  • Kirkland Art Center: $12,500 to update computer hardware and IT infrastructure
  • Village of Clinton: $15,000 to modernize the Village sign board (in memory of Andy Burns)
  • The Country Pantry: $5,000 for general operations

Facts about the Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund

  • Year Established: 2001
  • Number of Years Making Grants: 20 (grant-making was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic)
  • Value of Grants Awarded to Local Organizations: $1,079,994
  • Number of Organizations that have received Town-Gown Grants: 24
  • Number of Grants Awarded: 161

Town-Gown Committee Members

  • Catherine Beck, Hamilton College associate professor of geosciences
  • Phyllis Breland, Hamilton College trustee and retired director of Opportunity Programs
  • Bob Burns, Clinton Fire Department first assistant chief
  • Chad Davis, Hamilton College alumnus and Oneida County legislator
  • Mike Debraggio, Hamilton College executive writer and director of community relations, ex officio
  • Carrie Burns Evans, Clinton resident, Hamilton College parent, and former village trustee
  • Amy Owens Goodfriend ’82, Hamilton College trustee and Clinton native
  • Stephen Grimm, Clinton Central School District superintendent
  • Dick Tantillo, Hamilton College senior philanthropic advisor, ex officio
  • Jackie Walters, Clinton Chamber of Commerce executive director
  • David Wippman, Hamilton College president and committee chair

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