ELK COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Agency Background: The Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF) makes grants to community organizations in the areas of Education, Arts, Health Services, Human Services, Civic Services, and Economic Development. The ECCF helps people, families, groups, and businesses be philanthropic or charitable. The organization provides the administrative and investment management services that make it easy for donors to accomplish their charitable wishes with their tax deductible donations and to improve the quality of life in our communities. In 2016, ECCF awarded nearly $600,000 in grants and scholarships to local organizations and students.
Project: This project will give participants the opportunity to conduct fundraisers for the Foundation’s general Community Development Fund, or a fund of the group’s choice. Participants will be able to design, schedule, coordinate and operate as many fundraising events as they would like; participants will learn the value and purpose of a community foundation, and how foundations operate.
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS Agency background: Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is an evidence based prevention program provided by The Guidance Center in Jefferson, Elk and McKean Counties. The Guidance Center first initiated mentoring services in McKean County in 1980 and became an affiliate agency of the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Organization in 1992 after completing an in-depth site review process. The Guidance Center was granted permission by the National Organization to expand BBBS program services to serve Elk County in 2001 and Jefferson County in 2008. Developed in 1904, the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Organization is recognized as the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. Some programs are stand-alone agencies, while others are sponsored by larger non-profit organizations. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jefferson, Elk, and McKean Counties in Pennsylvania is a program sponsored by The Guidance Center.
Project: This proposed new project for Elk County BBBS would involve helping to create a focused PR advertising campaign using all means of available media to help share the BBBS message; and to help recruit caring, qualified adult mentors. January is National Mentoring Month so there will be a focus on a marketing campaign rollout throughout the fall. Project participants will be able to help craft messaging for the campaign and identify potential groups to speak to about the benefits of being a mentor.
LEC Team: Jocelyn Bash (ENFJ/ENFP), Mary Levanduski (ESTJ), Gina Schlimm (ENFP) Agency Contact: Cinde Schuckers, BBBS Program Coordinator The Guidance Center 994 Beaver Drive DuBois, PA 15801 814-371-0613. firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://www.bbbs-jem.org/
ECCOTA Agency Background: The Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA) is a 501 (c) non-profit organization based in Ridgway, but serving all of Elk County, as well as Cameron, Clarion, Forest, McKean, Jefferson and Potter Counties for certain programs. Founded in 1984 as a center for the development of all the arts in the Elk County area, ECCOTA provides a variety of opportunities to participate in the arts for the area’s residents. A wide selection of art classes and workshops for adults and children are offered. Additionally ECCOTA brings a selection of cultural programming to the area including: an annual children’s theater workshop; and programs by nationally and internationally renowned performers. ECCOTA also maintains a sales gallery featuring art work by more than 40 local and regional artists. Project: ECCOTA is looking to revive its popular Summer Concert Series, which brought live music to all communities throughout the summer months. Performers, musicians, and bands of a variety of genres would hold concerts, mainly in outdoor spaces such as lawn at the Ridgway Courthouse, the Diamond in St. Marys, and the Community Center in Johnsonburg. This program has been dormant for the last 7 or 8 years due to staff and volunteer turnover and a decreased line of dedicated funding. The participants for this project would have the opportunity to identify and secure new performance venues, coordinate performers, secure potential sponsors for the events, and assist with marketing. The goal of this project is to solidify a schedule of performances (no later than May 2019) which will occur throughout Elk and Cameron Counties in June and July 2019.
LEC Team: Finn Caskey (ENFP), Melinda Lewis (ESFP), Tammy Pesce (INTJ), Matt Young (ENTJ) Agency Contact: Sara Frank, Executive Director 237 Main Street Ridgway, PA 15857 814-772-7051, email@example.com, Website: http://www.eccota.com
ANIMAL HAVEN Agency Background: Ridgway Animal Haven is a not-for-profit organization. This is a new organization that is growing within the area. This was formed/established to have a safe place for abused, abandoned and homeless dogs and cats in Ridgway. At this point in our history we are all volunteers. We began hosting fundraisers in February 2018 to raise the necessary funds to purchase a building to house animals. We are currently working with a local vet and working with trapping feral cats in the Johnsonburg area. The cats are trapped, neutered and released back into their community. This will, in time, slow down the population of feral cats in our area. When funding allows, it is our plan to do the same in the Ridgway area. We also secure “host” families to foster kittens that are in need of care until old enough to be adopted. The Ridgway Animal Haven has also offered microchipping of dogs during our fundraisers. There will eventually be space to temporarily shelter both dogs and cats.
Project: We are seeking a group to help with our fundraising efforts as well as spreading awareness of our new organization. To date we have been able to purchase a building but still require the funds to lay concrete flooring, erect the building and add whatever utilities will be needed as well as ongoing costs as we grow. The Animal Haven broke ground on August 12, 2018 and plans to move forward as quickly as possible to build. While hosting our previous fundraisers since February 2018, we have been fortunate that the local communities have embraced our cause and have supported us. The participants will have the opportunity to develop marketing materials, sponsorship packages, fundraising events, and be part of the creation of this young organization.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB Agency background: The Boys & Girls Club of St. Marys currently serves all of Elk and Cameron Counties, providing a safe environment and countless activities for children and young adults to help reach their full potential towards education and character development. The Boys & Girls Club of St. Marys has been an important part of the community for over 90 years and currently serves over 250 youth. The club offers several activities to youth and adults including sports leagues, cooking club and a technology center for a homework club.
Project: The B&G Club would like to develop a teen center within the club. There is a separate space designated for teens now, but the club would like to redesign the space to meet their needs, as well as market the teen center to bring more teens in. Through the years there has been a steady decrease in the amount of teen members at the club. Teens need their own space away from the younger members; a space where they are free to be themselves without feeling pressure of being judged; A space where they are safe; A space where they have access to resources and experiences that expose them to a world of opportunities; A space that keeps them out of trouble. The goal of this project is to bring in more teens by providing them with a safe, fun, age appropriate environment and offering programs/activities more appealing to them. Project participants will assist with collecting input from teens on how to design the space; help with the redesign of the space; and assist with new ideas for how to serve teens.
ST. MARYS HERITAGE COUNCIL Agency Background: Founded in 2012, the St. Mary's Heritage Preservation Group is a 501-c3 organization made up by a small committee of local citizens committed to the beautification of the St. Marys Historic District. Their mission is to advocate for, build awareness of and encourage the conservation of the cultural, historic, natural, recreational and economic resources in the St. Marys Historic District. A vibrant core business district in the Historic District is a vital element in preserving our economic interests and promoting economic development.
Project: The purpose of this new project is to beautify the entrance corridor to the downtown of St. Marys via Routes 120 and 255 just beyond where the grass meets existing vegetation perennials; we would like to expand the number and variety of perennials to increase color and appearance in the growing season. Pavers will be placed around the new plantings so that mowing and maintenance is easier for the City. The participants of this group would assist in getting the word out about needing donations of perennials from the community, especially in the fall; assisting in the design and layout, securing any necessary supplies through donation or fundraising, and providing the hands on labor necessary to complete the planting in the fall and the spring.