The Rotary Club of Ithaca has awarded $10,000 in grants to 11 community nonprofits for projects ranging from cleaning up litter along Cayuga Lake to purchasing an accessible picnic table at a public park.
The Rotary Club received 28 applications this year for its annual Community Grants program. The final projects were selected by a seven-member committee of Rotarians who evaluated the proposals.
While the maximum amount of each grant was $1,000, directors of several nonprofits said they would not have been able to complete their projects without the funding from Ithaca Rotary.
Jan Bridgeford-Smith, executive director of the Women’s Opportunity Center, said the $950 grant her agency received will allow it to run radio ads tying in with a United Nations’ campaign to end gender-based violence against women, starting later this month.
“This is the first time that we’re doing a campaign like this,” said Bridgeford-Smith, a member of Ithaca Rotary. “Even though it’s not a lot of money, it kind of seals the deal with our ability to create this program.”
Ithaca Rotary’s Community Grants are intended to promote the quality of life in Tompkins County and the greater Ithaca area. These grants support organizations in the community that have special projects or needs which are not funded by general funding sources.
“Our goal is to fully fund a local agency’s project,” said Kelly Buck, an Ithaca Rotary member who cochairs the program. “The grants are not huge, but they really help our nonprofits meet their mission.”
The 2023 grant recipients are:
Brooktondale Community Center Inc. - $1,000
Construct an awning to protect the center’s handicapped ramp and make it safe and accessible in winter.
Cayuga Lake Watershed Network - $1,000
Extend a litter cleanup program by offering cleanup kits on loan to community groups so that they can pick up trash along the shoreline and waterways in our watershed.
Community Science Institute - $1,000
Purchase a new printer to produce materials for volunteers and lake monitoring programs as well as educational materials for the public.
Enfield Community Council - $930 
Construct a rainwater irrigation system that will support its community garden.
Family & Children’s Services - $1,000
Purchase a mobile play therapy kit that will expand treatment for all of its clinical offices.
Foodnet Meals on Wheels - $520
Purchase equipment to aid in the packaging and delivery of food as well as two security cameras to support security at its facility.
Free Science Workshop - $1,000
Support outreach programming to bring science discovery to area youth.
Jacksonville Community Association - $1,000
Buy an ADA-compliant picnic table for the Jacksonville park.
The Learning Web - $1,000
Purchase men’s bathing and hygiene supplies and staples for emergency food needs.
Tompkins Learning Partners, Inc. - $600
Purchase an iPad and digital practice tests for students preparing to take the GED test.
Women’s Opportunity Center - $950
Support local activities to end gender-based violence against women, as part of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Campaign
Contributions to Rotary’s Community Grants program are gratefully accepted at any time. Donation checks may be made payable to Ithaca Rotary Club and mailed to P.O. Box 306, Ithaca, NY 14851. Please note “Community grants” on the memo line.