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The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is pleased to announce its Fall Grant Distributions. In total, the CFA awarded nearly $170,000 to 63 organizations throughout Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties. The organizations we support are nonprofit community builders, engaged in projects important to our donors and this region. They are battling our drug crisis, cleaning up our environment, renewing our urban centers, renovating historic buildings, providing arts programs and cultural outings, preparing a modern workforce, protecting our neighborhoods, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and reviving our economy one small business at a time. Our grantees are securing this region’s future, driven by innovative business leaders and passionate volunteers.

In the Fall 2016 grant round, the Community Foundation awarded its largest grant to the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce for efforts to purchase and update the historic Russell House in downtown Bedford. The Bedford Chamber plans to use the renovated Russell House for permanent Chamber offices; a state-of-the-art facility for business rentals, meetings, and events; and as a small business incubator with shared office space. The incubator is especially interesting to the Community Foundation as a driver for economic development. It would be the first of its kind in Bedford County, providing entrepreneurs an affordable space to “hatch and grow,” as well as invaluable opportunities to network and learn from local businesses leaders. The $10,000 Community Foundation grant will be used for a feasibility study – an important first step toward securing federal grant funding for the million dollar project.

The Russell House purchase and renovation embodies the spirit of community development. With this one project, the Bedford Chamber will be revitalizing a historic landmark and the area around it, expanding its own programs to better connect and serve businesses throughout the county, and encouraging the economic innovations vital to this region’s growth and stability.

Please see below for a few highlights about the grantmaking in each county. For a complete list, click on Fall 2016 Grants by County.

Grant Highlights by County

9 projects, totaling $29,465

In addition to the Bedford Chamber’s Russell House project:

  • $1,000 to provide veterans and children with vouchers for local, fresh produce, meat, and dairy products at the Bedford Farmers’ Market, through Downtown Bedford, Inc.
  • $2,500 for a music program at the Tussey Mountain School District. The money will pay for all 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to have ukulele lessons, and for family music workshops and performances. This bolsters the arts program in an economically distressed school district stripped of almost all of its art and music courses due to budget cuts.
  • $5,000 to the Bedford Heritage Trust for major upgrades to exhibits, for a more engaging and inspiring guest experience.

13 projects, totaling $25,150

The CFA is funding a safe haven for children in Johnstown’s Moxham and West End neighborhoods with a $2,000 grant to Coaches 4 Kids. With their Playground Takeover, Coaches 4 Kids provides summer programs that foster young peoples’ emotional, social, physical, and intellectual development.

Other Cambria County highlights:

  • $3,000 to continue the BOTTLE WORKS’ Pillar Project, which turns city infrastructure into works of art. Artists have tackled 20 pillars so far, beautifying the low-income, high-risk Kernville neighborhood, and inspiring other community-building projects. These murals have become a draw for young people, who use the visually exciting murals as backdrops to their social media engagement.
  • $3,200 to buy a glass kiln and 3-D printer for the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, allowing the CACCC to offer expanded and modernized programs to the community through Arts Alive.
  • $2,000 providing dental services to indigent clients needing care through the Salvation Army Dental Center.
  • $1,150 to provide books and reading programs to low-income parents of children age newborn – 2 years, through UPMC’s Home Nursing Agency (Mommy Read to Me, Please).

9 projects, totaling $36,000

The Community Foundation is helping the Homer Center Public Library improve its operations with $5,000 toward technology upgrades. This allows the library to replace outdated computers, for essential administration and smoother customer service.


  • $6,000 toward the roof replacement for the Clyde Volunteer Fire Department of West Wheatfield Township.
  • $5,000 toward a new, ADA-compliant playground in Homer City, serving nearly 500 area children, awarded to the Homer-Center Education Foundation.
  • $3,000 to provide books, educational support, and social services to at-risk families through the Family Care Mobile Library.

19 projects, totaling $45,800

Somerset projects are bolstered by the Somerset County Community Fund, a permanent endowment for Somerset-specific nonprofits and special initiatives. That fund contributed $21,500 to Fall Grants in Somerset County.

Nearly $6,000 will provide heating fuel this winter to low-income families through the Salvation Army’s Operation Warm Hearts program.

Other Somerset projects being funded include:

  • $5,000 for the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County’s development of a strategic plan.
  • $3,000 toward resources for a Day Treatment Program to provide educational, behavioral, and emotional support for young children with special needs through the Children’s Aid Home of Somerset County.
  • $3,000 to provide meals and companionship to underserved, elderly people through the Windber Area Community Kitchen.

Many of the projects funded by the Community Foundation serve residents of more than one county. Those programs amount to $32,200 in funding from this round of grants.

These projects include:

  • $2,000 to provide shoes to children in need from local schools through United Methodist Human Services.
  • $2,700 to the Free Medical Clinic in Johnstown and Somerset, to pay for a supply of Narcan and to assist clients with transportation costs to get to their scheduled healthcare appointments.
  • $2,000 to provide caregiving courses to young teenagers responsible for their younger siblings. This program is through the Penn Highlands Community College Foundation.

About the CFA
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is a private, nonprofit organization that provides funding for passion-driven projects.

Most of the funding for our small grant rounds comes from individual donors – people living here in our region who want to make a difference. Those donors come to us to set up funds with a purpose. We work closely with donors to set guidelines for those funds and manage them to protect not only their value but their integrity. In turn, the CFA works with organizations in Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties to see where that money is best spent.

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is at the heart of progress in our region, bringing together the talent, ideas, and resources we need to move our communities forward.

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