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Grants distributed to 25 nonprofits serving Blair County

The Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation on Wednesday distributed $23,243 in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations, serving Blair County.

Each year, the foundation accepts project proposals from eligible organizations for its competitive grants process. Each applicant must be located in or serve Blair County, be a 501(c)(3) organization and meet several other criteria.

“We are fortunate to have so many incredible charities in our community. Every year, it is very difficult to decide which projects to fund. The selection process was even more difficult this year considering the things we are experiencing as a community. Charitable nonprofit organizations play such a vital role in our community, especially during difficult times, and we are so excited to award 25 of them with awards this year,” said Jodi Cessna, CPCF executive director.

The Geeseytown Community Fire Company received a grant to help pay for the upgrade of a brush-fire tanker truck.

“We are very appreciative and honored to receive the award. It will help us significantly. Finding funding is a very difficult thing with COVID, and this is a big help,” said Garrett Miller, grant committee member of the Geeseytown Volunteer Fire Company.

The Arc of Blair County received a grant for Voices Carry, which will teach advocacy, community involvement and self-reliance through a series of live interactions and workshops to a population not accustomed to independence.

“We are so blessed to have the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation in Blair County. Without grants, many of the nonprofits would not be able to do the programs they do. This allows us to give voices to people with disabilities,” said Executive Director Maria Brandt.

The Door Student Services Lioness Home received a grant to help purchase bedroom furniture for a transitional living home for disadvantaged young women “at-risk” for homelessness or dependence.

“We are so close to being open. We are most fortunate, this will help us buy bedroom furniture in the home for the ladies,” said David Taylor, executive director of The Door.

Other 2020 Grant Award Recipients include: Altoona Symphony Society, American Rescue Workers, Bellwood-Antis Public Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County, Blair/Clearfield Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Blair Concert Chorale, Blair County Chamber Foundation, Blair County Community Action Program-Mountain Lion BackPack Program, Blair County Historical Society, Central Blair County Park and Recreation Commission, Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company, Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation, Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, Lakemont Volunteer Fire Company, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Railroaders Heritage Corp., Roaring Spring Community Library, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown, Service Paws of Central Pennsylvania, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship-Operation Rocking Horse, and Young Life of Central Pennsylvania.

Since its inception, the CPCF has distributed grants to over 750 organizations through its competitive grants process, donor-advised funds and other funding streams. In addition to grants, the organization has provided about 1,500 scholarships.

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