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Through the generosity of hundreds of donors, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is distributing more than $130,000 to 57 projects and programs in Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties. These grantee organizations are celebrating our region’s heritage, bolstering arts and culture, providing essential programs for children and youth, and supplementing our health and human services for safer, healthier, happier, communities.

With this grant distribution, the Portage community emerges as a true success story. Through two funds with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Portage residents financed nearly 100% of the grant requests to serve their community. The first of the Portage funds was established in 1998, and it was followed with a second fund in 2001. Through community fundraisers and responsible fiscal stewardship, those funds have grown large enough to pay for nearly all of this spring’s Portage area grant requests.

Here’s the list of Portage grants:
• $4,500 to the Portage Library Association for its Love the Library renewal Project
• $2,500 to the Portage Area Ambulance Association for bleeding control kits
• $2,035 to the Portage Area Joint Recreation Commission for improvements to the pool
• $1,378 to the Portage Area Historical Society for promotional brochures
• $1,100 to Skills of Central PA to train staff at the Portage Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Clinic
• $750 to Portage Volunteer Fire Company #1 to upgrade equipment

For nearly 20 years, the Portage Regional Endowment Committee has had to pick and choose which projects get funding, a choice Committee Chairman Randy Stager says is always tough. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the whole borough, the committee was able to say YES to every Portage applicant to the Spring grant round. “This shows the community spirit and willingness to help each other. It’s great to finally reach this goal,” says Randy.

CFA President Mike Kane applauds the Portage community’s self-support. “This is the type of community development that empowers progress. Portage is a model for any community seeking to better itself.”

Please see below for highlights of CFA grantmaking in each county. Click here: Spring 2017 Grants by County for a list of every grant awarded, and the projects they’re funding.

Grant Highlights by County

Bedford County organizations received $22,500 in grant funding.

ReNewing Hope Ministries will put a $5,000 grant toward remodeling low-rent apartments for atrisk women. This program provides affordable transitional housing, addiction treatment, and crisis interventions for local women who need it most.

Other grants in Bedford:

  • $3,500 for the Friends of Shawnee State Park’s Arts in the Park, a series of cultural programs marrying performance, display, and participatory arts with the beauty of the outdoors.
  • $3,000 to complete the last phase of building renovations for the National Museum of American Coverlets, which is recognized as the nation’s premier source for accurate information and professional quality display of coverlets.

Community Foundation funds distributed close to $60,000 to two dozen Cambria County organizations.

The Alternative Community Resources Program (ACRP) received two grants:

  • $4,500 will help provide basic home repairs and human needs to families with children, disabled and elderly who meet federal low income eligibility. This CHORE program is an example of how community social service agencies and community funding sources can work together to help families trapped in poverty and in need of assistance for basic human
  • $4,000 will support a summer enrichment program, providing art, language arts, and reading classes to underserved children ages 7-11. This pilot program is in partnership with the Greater Johnstown School District, arts organizations, and the United Way.

The Girls Scouts will use a $2,000 grant to implement a summer day camp at Solomon Homes for girls in grades K-8. This innovative campaign and outdoor program brings urban children into nature, where they develop self-confidence, independence, discipline, leadership, and teamwork.

$1,600 to the West End Improvement Group provides high-quality security cameras near Johnstown’s Oakhurst playground along Strayer Street and Harold Avenue (Route 56). These cameras will stream live to the JPD, to combat crime and drug activity in that area.

Somerset organizations received nearly $40,000 for 20 projects.

The Next Step Center will use a $5,000 grant to support its Transitions program, which helps homeless men and women integrate back into the community with the help of innovative life skills classes and case management.

$2,000 will help United Methodist Meyersdale provide nutritionally balanced meals to children throughout the summer. This grant will purchase equipment to keep food warm during transport to meal sites.

The Mary Biesecker Library will use a $3,000 CFA grant to match an additional $3,000 grant offered by a community member. This will initiate enhancements to its 75-year old building, improving safety and security for library users.

A number of projects serve communities in more than one county. Those grants amounted to just over $11,000 for 6 organizations.

$1,500 will help the Greater Johnstown School District educate teen parents on finances and using public transportation, empowering them to be engaged, self-sufficient members of the community. GJSD provides this program to high schoolers in nearly a dozen Cambria and Somerset county school districts.

$1,500 will go toward scholarships for adults getting high school diplomas through Penn Foster High School. This Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies program provides educationally disenfranchised residents with individualized support and online instruction so they can achieve self-sufficiency in the modern workplace.

About the CFA
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is a nonprofit public foundation. Through charitable giving of its donors, it builds professionally managed assets to support Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties. The Foundation is overseen by an active volunteer board and committees, and complies with national standards established by the Council on Foundation, the philanthropic sector’s primary affiliate organization. Learn more about the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies by visiting

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