WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local council is supporting a summer music production, a community instrument and equipment lending library, emergency responder training and programs for essential needs in the North Country.

The LEAD Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation has announced that it has awarded $20,000 in grants to five nonprofit organizations in Northern New York. These were given through a recent series of LEAD Impact Grant Program awards, which aim to enhance the work or organizations that impact the “quality of life” in the region.

Specifically, a $6,400 LEAD Impact Grant was given to Stage Notes, a performing arts organization, to help resume live, in-person performances. Stage Notes is set to return to the stage in July 2022 with “RENT, School Edition.”

Additionally, a $5,000 LEAD Impact Grant was given to HarmoNNY Performing Arts Community, for its new instrument and equipment lending library. The organization is currently purchasing and collecting instruments for the library which is housed at Trinity Episcopal Church.

The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization was awarded a $4,100 grant to train 20 emergency responders through “Stop the Bleed” training. This will work to train EMS personnel on how to stop life-threatening bleeding following emergencies.

The LEAD Council awarded $2,500 to the Church and Community Program in Canton to strengthen its food supply by purchasing high-quality local meat and produce. Items are planned to be distributed through a variety of food assistance programs.

The final grant was awarded to Norwood’s Community Lunch Program for Kids, totaling $2,200. This will allow the program to continue supporting the critical and essential needs of families with children and vulnerable senior citizens.

Prior to granting these awards, the council reviewed dozens of applications. According to LEAD Council Chair Erin Simser, this was a challenging process for the council as there were many organizations with qualifying programs.

“Council members are excited to support our communities with funding for organizations and programs that are committed to strengthening quality of life in our region. It was a very challenging decision to select just five organizations from the more than 20 applications we evaluated,” Simser said in a press release. “It is encouraging to see local nonprofits working so hard to improve life for North Country residents.”

The LEAD Council is an advisory committee of young professionals empowered to make key investments in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties through community grants and volunteerism.