Sawyer Community Fund announces $46,500 in grant awards for community initiatives

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Kenneth V. Sawyer and Jeannette Remp Sawyer

Kenneth V. Sawyer and Jeannette Remp Sawyer (Northern New York Community Foundation)

(WWTI) — Eleven organizations and projects that benefit Boonville, Constableville, and Westernville residents will share $46,500 in 2021 funding from the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Support will help fund programs and projects that broadly impact the quality of life for residents in the three communities. More than a dozen organizations applied for funding in the fourth year the opportunity has been made available.

In 2020, the Sawyer Community Fund awarded $40,000 to 11 community-based organizations. Thanks to the enduring generosity of the Sawyers, the fund has provided $149,000 in support to 45 organizations and projects since it began grant-making efforts in 2018.

“The enduring gift Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer created is making such a meaningful impact across three communities,” said Max DelSignore, Northern New York Community Foundation assistant director. “This year’s funding is directly tied to many quality-of-life elements that will help each organization and the communities they serve prosper.”

The Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund was established in 2018 as a geographic-specific fund to strengthen and enhance the communities of Boonville, Constableville and Westernville.

The Sawyers were passionate about the quality of life in their community, participating in many activities and volunteering with several meaningful organizations. Through the community fund, the Sawyer family established a lasting charitable resource that will forever impact these communities.

The Sawyer Community Fund will grant $10,000 in funding for the Constable Hall Association to assist with essential exterior work and restoration of the carriage house this year.

Erwin Library and Institute will receive $8,000 to support and install a new heating unit for the second floor reading area and acquire audio and video equipment to bolster the library’s summer reading program and enhance capabilities for guest speakers.

The Village of Boonville will receive $7,200 to support three projects in the village, including: $3,500 to help the village obtain supplies and materials to complete a safe walking path for residents to reach the community’s only major grocery store; $2,200 for technology and equipment needed to continue the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that will allow two volunteers to process nearly 300 income tax returns; and $1,500 to purchase five large American flags designated for Little Village Park.

The Boonville Cemetery Association will receive $5,000 to continue efforts to update and digitize burial records. The projects will also help staff identify family plots and their respective locations. Funding will support part-time employees working to complete the project.

The Constableville Volunteer Fire Company will receive $5,000 to acquire a cardiac monitor, an essential piece of equipment that the company’s eight EMTs will be trained to use while responding to calls.

Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center will receive $5,000 to support the center’s popular Robotics and Summer Visual Arts programs, which engage youths ages 4 to 16. Funding will help purchase STEAM kits, enable participation in team competitions, and acquire materials to hold a summer theater program.

North Country Youth Soccer will receive $3,000 to help purchase essential soccer equipment for a youth program that draws more than 200 participants in pre-K through grade six from the Adirondack and South Lewis School districts.

Western Town Library will receive $1,800 to improve technology for library patrons and purchase equipment to strengthen resources that support the human and social needs of guests.

The Adirondack Community Chorus will receive $1,500 to support community music performances in Boonville, Constableville, and Westernville.

Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer participated in many community events and activities through the years and served on local boards and committees. Mr. Sawyer was a Boonville native, served in the United States Army, and enjoyed a career at Layng Furniture Company and as a supervisor at Boonville’s Erwin Park. Most notably, he was a talented musician. He played tenor saxophone in his high school band and clarinet with the Boonville Village Band. He frequently played with three separate drum and bugle corps in Boonville and Rome. Mr. Sawyer died in 2008.

Mrs. Sawyer completed a successful career of more than 45 years at Rome Savings Bank and was an avid follower of the stock market. She also served on the finance committee of Boonville United Methodist Church. She assisted organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, Dodge Pratt Northam Art and Community Center, the Erwin Library, and the Boonville Cemetery. Mrs. Sawyer died in 2015.

In 2017, the Kenneth V. Sawyer and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Scholarship Fund was established through the Northern New York Community Foundation to benefit Adirondack Central School graduates. The endowed fund will award two scholarships each year forever, supporting the business and music pursuits of high school graduates from the district.

The application for the next grant cycle for funding from the Kenneth V. and Jeannette Remp Sawyer Community Fund will be available in early 2022.

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