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Nearly $300,000 in grants to 16 local initiatives this spring

The Lancaster County Community foundation is proud to announce it will invest nearly $300,000 in 16 local community benefit organizations from nine different targeted funds. Grants range from $10,000-$40,000 in support of environmental efforts, childhood development and community health, historical preservation, and arts programs, all working towards the improvement of Lancaster County and its community members.

Grantee Partner Spotlight: Junior Achievement of South Central PA


Reaching across Lancaster County and beyond, Junior Achievement focuses on the success of middle school students beyond their years in the classroom. Specifically, their “YES!” Program pairs students with volunteer mentors on topics like resume building, interview tips, business planning, and understanding the breadth of career paths. Through discussions and activities related to career exploration and financial stability the YES! Program strives to bridge the gap between what’s happening in the classroom and the real world. During a both socially and physically awkward period in life, the YES! Program works to illustrate a larger picture of the important role education plays in future vocational and economic success.

In the 2019-2020 school year the YES! Program will travel to 35 different schools across 14 counties, serving nearly 19,000 students. The YES! Program at Junior Achievement is the beneficiary of The Anne C. & W. Franklin Ressler Fund which supports school districts in Lancaster County and beyond to assure community well-being. Funds awarded to Junior Achievement will be used to continue the important work that the YES! Program has been providing in South Central PA.


Junior Achievement is just one of the extraordinary initiatives supported in this cycle! In 2018, the Community Foundation invested nearly 2 million dollars in Lancaster County organizations in addition to inspiring the community to generate $10 million during the Extraordinary Give. Trained community volunteers and staff review grant proposals and recommend grants to the Community Foundation Board of Directors who ultimately approve the investments.

Please find a complete list of the 2019 Spring Grant Recipients below. Congratulations to our latest grantee partners!


The John. J. Snyder Fund

This fund supports efforts around Lancaster and Cumberland County to assure the historical preservation and restoration of important landmarks. Grant funds may be used for the “unglamorous things” necessary to upholding the legacy of historical structures such as painting, roof repair and replacement, electrical repair and replacement, and other efforts of preservation.

  • The Strasburg Heritage Society $25,000 will be used to focus on the replacement of the wood shingle roof on The John Shroy House. The current roof was installed over thirty years ago and has since been patched as a temporary measure to keep the rain out. In order to move forward with replacing the roof, two fireplaces and a chimney will be rebuilt as well as the restoration of the front cornice. This work will preserve both the building and the contents within it.
  • Cumberland County Library System Foundation$25,000 will be used to restore and repair The Amelia S. Givin Free Library roofs covering the original 1889 structure as well as the 30-year shingle roof over the 1989 addition. As both roofs are leaking in several areas, there is also a need to repair internal floor and water damage.
  • Haldeman Mansion Preservation Society$38,500 will be used for the restoration of the historical Haldeman Mansion, a nationally registered property. A recent building preservation and land development plan recommended repairs of the main entry hall, the drawings, and ballrooms; allowing the mansion to be open year-round to visitors. The repairs will also enable the mansion to host small events and provide space for interpretive and educational exhibits.


The Ada F. Harr Fund 

This fund provides home health or custodial care to people living in their homes who are affected by illness or disability in Lancaster County.

  • Vision Corps$22,000 will be used for the “Adult Rehabilitation Services for Lancaster County Residents” project which works to mitigate the isolation that many victims of vision loss feel at first. Whether vision loss occurs due to disease accident or age-related conditions, VisionCorps ensures they have a system of support. More than 550 clients have been able to live independently and maintain quality of life due to VisionCorps’ certified specialists and this grant will allow for the continuation of rehabilitation for those suffering from vision loss.
  • Hospice and Community Care$9,100 will be used to continue the Supportive Care that this organization provides for many under served patients without financial resources to pay for care. Supportive Care assists intensely ill patients to prevent and manage symptoms related to their illness. This fund will tremendously help the ability to continue this financial assistance.


The Katherine K. Gaeth Fund 

This fund provides funding for human service support that offers a direct benefit to clients, such as housing needs and home modifications, utilities, home care assistance, and food access.

  • Lancaster Lebanon Habitat for Humanity$26,000 will be used to provide affordable home repairs and financing for low income homeowners in Lancaster City’s SoWe neighborhood. Habitat will offer repairs ranging from small home repairs to more critical home repairs. These services will make it possible for elderly, disabled or low-income homeowners to remain safely in their own homes, to sustain and grow neighborhood property values, and to maintain a strong sense of dignity and pride in home ownership



The Anne C. & W. Franklin Ressler Fund

This fund supports programs working with residents in Eastern Lancaster County, exclusively in the geographic regions of Conestoga Valley School District, Eastern Lancaster County School District, and Pequea Valley School District.

  • Junior Achievement of South Central PA$10,000 will support the “JA’s YES!” program which works to engage and inspire middle school students in Eastern Lancaster County. The details of this program include a day of engagement and connection for middle school students as they interact with volunteer mentors and explore how their classroom learning relates to real world careers, issues, and experiences. This funding will allow The YES! Program to continue their work with students in showing them the role education plays in their future plans.
  • Lancaster Health Center: Lancaster County Partnership for Public Health$17,300 will be used to help discover the source of lead poisoning among the Plain Sect children of Eastern Lancaster County. For Rich Traditionsthe first time, researchers, toxicologists and public health advocates aim to join together and find out “why” through health facilities that serve Amish and Mennonite children in that area in order to find the environmental source of lead and provide education to those families.


Better Lancaster Fund

This fund supports programs that increase early childhood development for children from birth to age five.

Listed below are the organization/s benefiting from The Better Lancaster Fund:

  • Fulton Opera House Foundation$20,000 will be used to support “Building Bridges,” a comprehensive arts education program for preschoolers (3-5 yrs) built around a curriculum of storytelling and dramatic play that contributes to the learning of critical literacy skills, expanded expressiveness and creativity, and social and emotional growth vital to school readiness. The Bridges program is offered to area early learning centers serving multicultural families living at or below poverty level and through the Fulton’s Academy of Theatre programming.
  • Lancaster Health Center: Lancaster County Reach Out and Read Coalition$4,300 will be used to support the “Books and Babies: One Book One Community,” a unique early literacy program that prepares our youngest children to succeed in school and life by partnering with healthcare providers to incorporate books into pediatric care and encourage families to read aloud together. The Reach Out and Read Coalition is looking to expand their reach to all babies by providing the same new book and literacy education to every Lancaster County newborn with the help of this Books and Babies initiative.


Florence Starr Taylor Fund

This fund provides support to visual arts programs in the Lancaster County community, with a preference given for those that serve underrepresented or underserved groups in our community.

  • Church World Service$15,000 will be used to support “Here, there is Welcome: A Community Mural Project,” a mural project celebrating Lancaster’s rich culture of showing welcome to all residents and newcomers. The mural will be located in a prominent downtown Lancaster location, illustrating the community’s diversity and history of acceptance, with included input from residents, specifically refugee and immigrant members.


Lancaster Environmental Fund 

This fund encourages environmental protection, conservation, and environmental education efforts through investigating, exploring, studying, and evaluating new, useful, and efficient methods, procedures, and technologies relating to resource conservation, waste management, and protection of the environment. Project possibilities include the preservation and protection of natural resources and the environment of Lancaster County. As well as efforts to increase awareness of the public of the need to manage and conserve natural resources.

  • Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay$31,950 will support the “City of Lancaster Residential Green Infrastructure Program,” a program in partner with the City of Lancaster to celebrate the City’s green infrastructure (GI) and support low income city residents in installing green infrastructure in their own backyards. Green infrastructure such as street trees, rain gardens, and native plantings are imperative to improving the health of the Conestoga River and also support the beautification of City neighborhoods.


Patrick Kenney, Jr. and K.L. Shirk Fund

This fund supports programs that fight hate and bigotry while seeking social justice for the most vulnerable members of Lancaster County, through internships, scholarships, workshops, and education.

  • Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County$9,559 will be used to expand the “Block CAPtains Program,” a program that identifies, empowers, and pays local community members to create community-based solutions to issues of concern for residents. The expansion will include two additional community organizations and a partnership with the West Lancaster Jewels community group.
  • Create Visions – $5,441 will be used to support the film screening and talk back series of “Creek Don’t Rise,” a Lancaster-based narrative feature film that at its core, is a film about an unlikely friendship. James, a former South Sudanese refugee living in Lancaster, befriends a local woman with bipolar disorder. One embedded in community, the other deeply isolated, they each cope with being restricted from seeing their nearby children. The goal of the film is to explore


Sam & Verda Taylor Fund 

This fund provides support to visual arts programs in the Lancaster County community, with a preference given for those that serve underrepresented or underserved groups in our community.

  • Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts $15,000 will be used to support the Millersville University “Children & Youth Performing Arts Program,” a multifaceted program providing exceptional diversified arts and arts-learning experiences to young people from all walks of life, with a particular emphasis on the underserved and marginalized, including those who are disadvantaged, from refugee/immigrant families, and living with disabilities. The program strives to enhance their aesthetic, cognitive, social and emotional growth, while giving them the opportunity to become full participants in the cultural life of our community.
  • Fulton Opera House Foundation$12,500 will support the efforts of The Fulton Theatre to explore the roles of race, religion, class structure and morality through its Groff Studio Series of “The Whipping Man.” A gripping drama that delves into the ties between a Jewish Confederate soldier returning home to celebrate Passover with his newly freed slaves, The Whipping Man will see the Fulton collaborate with faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and historical societies in discussing what it means to be “equal” in one another’s eyes.

Questions? Get in touch!

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