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5 Union Springs Not-For-Profits Sharing $50K in Grants

L-R: Kelly Yorkey, Treasurer of the Western Cayuga County Food Pantry; Warren Albrecht, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Region Lions Hearing Foundation; Darlene Grahm, President of the Frontenac Historical Society; Robert Thurston Jr., Mayor of Union Springs; Stephanie Northup, AVP – Market Manager of Cayuga County at Generations Bank; AG Cutrona, SVP – Chief Banking Officer at Generations Bank; Christy Cooper, Board President of Springport Free Library; Garret Waldron, Chief of the Union Springs Volunteer Fire Department; Jessica Waldron, President of the Union Springs Volunteer Fire Department. (Ed Vivenzio, Finger Lakes News Radio)

$50,000 is going to five Union Springs not-for-profits.

Generations Bank announced on Thursday that it has secured grant funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York for the organizations. AG Cutrona, SVP – Chief Banking Officer at Generations Bank, told Finger Lakes News Radio that this is part of the bank’s commitment to giving back to the community.

“We’re a community bank,” said Cutrona.” We saw it as an opportunity to make a major impact in this community.”

He explained that, after finding out about the funding opportunity from the Federal Home Loan Bank, he contacted Union Springs Mayor Rob Thurston Jr to see where the funds could best go.

“We determined that we would love for these grants to go to not-for-profits in Union Springs, so the next step I took was reaching out to Mayor Thurston to get his recommendations for 501c3 not-for-profits in the community that could benefit from some additional funding going into the new year,” said Cutrona.

Generations Bank applied for funding on behalf of the not-for-profits. The bank could not ask for more than $50,000, so it requested $10,000 for each of the organizations, which it successfully received.

The five awardees are The Springport Free Library, Frontenac Historical Society, Western Cayuga Food Pantry, Union Springs Volunteer Fire Department, and the Finger Lakes Region Lions Hearing Foundation.

The Springport Free Library will use its funding to improve its young child program area. To achieve this, the library will purchase new materials, remodel the space, and buy new furniture.

The Frontenac Historical Society recently had to pay $12,000 for a major boiler replacement so it could continue to heat its building and maintain the historical items housed within it. This $10,000 will go to help offset the costs that had to go to purchase the new boiler. President of the Frontenac Historical Society, Darlene Graham, told Finger Lakes News Radio the society is beyond thrilled to hear this news.

“It means everything to us, to be able to keep the lights on and be able to provide all of our programs free for the community,” said Graham.

The Western Cayuga County Food Pantry is located in Trinity Church within the village. The grant funding it receives will be utilized to purchase food and paper products.

The Union Springs Volunteer Fire Department is using its grant funding to pay for its new emergency, tracked UTV. This vehicle has the capability and equipment to respond to remote areas such as woodlands or the Gully. It is also able to operate well in snow and mud.

The final recipient is the Finger Lakes Region Lions Hearing Foundation. The group, established in 1985, collects used hearing aids to refurbish and give to hearing-impaired individuals in need. The foundation will use the money for work on the hearing aids.

Mayor Thurston cited this as an example of how tight-knit and kind of a community the village is.

“I always tell everyone, ‘If you want to be part of a big family, come to the Village Union Springs.’ We’re always there for each other; we have each other’s backs, especially these small not-for-profits that go out and constantly take care of our community,” Thurston said.

He added that this funding will be put to good use helping the community.

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