Local legacy fund supports Potsdam area programs focused on arts, culture and youth



POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local legacy fund has provided a trio of new grant awards to support programs in the Potsdam area.

The John and Dorotha VanNess Family Fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation announced that it recently approved $10,000 in grant support for three nonprofit organizations focused on arts, culture and youth-based programs.

Programs that received gifts in 2021 include the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, North County Children’s Museum and Boy Scouts of America, Longhouse Council.

The fund established to honor John and Dorotha VanNess is a permanent, grant making fund specific for the Potsdam area. It was created by the VanNess’s daughter, Susan J. Sewall as a part of her charitable legacy plans.

“The example of what Mrs. Sewall created to honor her parents, while also make a lasting difference in a community they loved together, is inspiring and lasting,” said NNYCF Assistant Director Max DelSignore. “It is a meaningful way to ensure the Potsdam area is supported forever. These three grants are an excellent reflection of enriching the quality of life in a community.”

Specific grant amounts are detailed below.

  • St. Lawrence County Arts Council: $5,000 to support the organization’s North Country Arts Festival
  • North Country Children’s Museum: $3,000 for an annual, multicultural program series for children and families
  • Boy Scouts of America, Longhouse Council: $2,000 to help establish one Cub Scout and one Scouts BSA unit in the Potsdam area.

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