Rock Charitable Fund offers support for St. Lawrence County


Second Lieutenant Marjorie J. Rock U.S. Army Nurse Corps, 1942. Ms. Rock retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel
in 1970 and made St. Lawrence County her home. (NNYCF)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Charitable organizations, churches, cemeteries or governmental entities that serve St. Lawrence County residents are encouraged to apply for 2020 grant funding through the Rock Charitable Fund, a permanent component fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation.

Grant support is available to qualified organizations whose missions and efforts align with the fund’s charitable purposes, which are for the maintenance and preservation of churches and cemeteries in St. Lawrence County, the preservation and maintenance of places of legitimate historical significance in the county and to benefit or assist veterans of the United States military who reside in St. Lawrence County for their medical and recreational needs. Grants in support of veterans will only be awarded to qualified organizations and cannot be made directly to individuals.

The fund was established in 2019 through a bequest from St. Lawrence County resident and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Army Marjorie J. Rock, who passed away in February 2017 at the age of 96.

“Because of the thoughtful and enduring way this legacy was designed, it has the potential to provide support for projects and programs that might not have as much access to other funding sources,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “We encourage those whose goals align with the focus areas of this fund to contact us so we can help provide guidance in partnering to best fulfill Marjorie’s intentions.”

The Community Foundation administers the permanent charitable legacy fund in collaboration with a six-member St. Lawrence County-based board of advisors that will review applications and make funding recommendations. The advisors include Ruth McWilliams, South Colton; Sarah Maneely, Canton; Fred Hanss, Hannawa Falls; Keith Zimmerman, Canton; Erik Backus, Potsdam; and Philip Paige, Madrid.

Requests for funding will not be considered for work that begins before Dec. 31, 2020. Successful applicants will have up to three years to complete their project or program. Up to a total of $100,000 in grant funding is available, and successful applicants may receive full or partial funding of their requested amount. Applications and guidelines for the Rock Charitable Fund may be accessed online.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Community Foundation to discuss requested amounts and project details before submitting grant proposals.

Complete grant proposals must be postmarked or received at the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601, no later than Friday, September 4, 2020. Grant decisions will be made in early 2021.

Contact Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs, with any application or grant questions at 315-782-7110, or by email, at

About Marjorie J. Rock

Ms. Rock grew up in St. Lawrence County and graduated from Heuvelton High School in 1937. In 1941, she graduated from the three-year nursing program at Flower Fifth Avenue School in New York City. The following year, she joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, serving in North Africa and Italy during World War II. After the war, she attended Teachers College at Columbia University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1948 and a Master of Arts in 1950.

She spent six years teaching in nursing programs, first as an instructor for Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and later at New York City’s Lennox Hill Hospital. She returned to active Army service in 1954 to assist with medical courses for enlisted personnel and helped to establish a medical education system, particularly in the United States, Japan and Germany. She served as a supervisor, chief nurse, instructor and director of an advance medical technician school. Her last overseas duty was in Vietnam.

In 1970, she retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel and returned to St. Lawrence County, joining her mother in Ogdensburg to help with her care. She earned many honors during her Army service, including the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. Her only sibling, a brother, was killed in 1944 while piloting a P-47 Thunderbolt plane over Normandy.

For the rest of her life, Ms. Rock made St. Lawrence County her home while traveling with friends, caring for others, and assisting her church and other organizations, including the Army Nurse Corps Association and other veterans’ groups. She maintained a keen interest in documenting local history and furthering the education of others in the county.


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