Walter Cerf Community Fund supports Addison County organizations
MIDDLEBURY — The Walter Cerf Community Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, recently announced 2016 grant awards totaling $111,060 to 29 organizations.
Since 2001, the fund has made grants to organizations located in Addison County or Brandon, or that have a statewide reach and make a unique contribution to Vermont. Priority interests are the arts, education, historic preservation and social services, reflecting the pattern of giving established by Cerf during his lifetime.
Walter Cerf was a philosophy professor who arrived in the United States in 1937 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. In the years following World War II, he traveled back to Europe and fostered an interest in historic preservation as he traveled — collecting art, antiques, and even some pieces of the 18th century furniture his family was forced to leave behind when they fled Germany. In his later years, Cerf made Leicester, Vt., his home, giving more than $10 million to organizations and projects in Vermont before passing away in 2001.
Cerf focused much of his giving within his community of Addison County and Brandon; grants from the Walter Cerf Community Fund reflect that focus, with two-thirds of the grants reserved for Addison County/Brandon projects and one-third reserved for statewide projects. Each grant awards up to $5,000.
Each year, the fund awards one grant up to $25,000. This year, the Town of Panton received $25,000 to help repair and remount the iconic cupola of Panton’s town hall. The grant aligns with Cerf’s love and appreciation of historic buildings in Vermont.
2016 grant awards went to the following:
• Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) received $2,000 to support a community engagement initiative with both ACCT tenants and the community at large.
• Bixby Memorial Free Library received $4,000 to support digitizing historical documents in the Bixby Library History Room Collection.
• Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County received $2,000 to support an early-age drug prevention program.
• Brandon Free Public Library received $4,200 to support updating the Brandon Public Free Library electrical system.
• Brandon Senior Citizens Center received $2,500 to support the replacement of the center’s aging kitchen linoleum floor.
• Bristol Village Cohousing received $3,000 to support a program that aims to create two permanently affordable units in Bristol Village Cohousing.
• Elderly Services received $5,000 to support three part-time registered nurses providing care to 150 elders weekly at an adult day care center.
• Everybody Wins! Vermont received $3,000 to support recruiting and training of volunteer adult one-on-one reading mentors in Brandon, Bridport and Middlebury.
• Flynn Center for the Performing Arts received $3,000 to support subsidized tickets for low-income students from Addison County to attend 2016-2017 Student Matinees.
• Fort Ticonderoga Association received $2,860 to support bringing educators into classrooms in Addison County to teach students about the life of a soldier during the American Revolution through hands-on activities.
• Governor’s Institutes of Vermont received $2,000 to support scholarships for Addison County high school students attending Governor’s Institutes as they pursue accelerated study in their academic or artistic fields of interest.
• Homeward Bound received $1,000 to support a program that purchases and delivers food for the pets of home-bound seniors who receive Meals on Wheels.
• HOPE received $3,000 to support a project bringing Addison County growers together with volunteers, HOPE clients, and philanthropists to salvage usable produce and distribute it via HOPE’s food shelf.
• Hospice Volunteer Services received $5,000 to support its 2016 operating budget.
• Mary Johnson Children’s Center received $3,000 to support a program that provides summer meals, social support and activities for youth in underserved and remote locations in Addison County.
• Middlebury Community Music Center received $1,000 to support a new initiative to bring high quality music education to local afterschool programs.
• Mount Abraham Union High School received $1,000 to support the construction of a roof on the high school’s compost facility.
• Opera Company of Middlebury received $3,000 to support afamily-friendly performance of Mozart’s masterpiece “The Magic Flute” for school children.
• Planned Parenthood of Northern New England received $3,000 to help the Middlebury health center provide high quality reproductive health care and education to underserved women, men, and teens in Addison County.
• Preservation Trust of Vermont received $5,000 to support their seed grant program that helps community efforts to save and use historic buildings.
• ReSOURCE received $1,000 to support a program that aims to help those experiencing poverty while providing training opportunities and offering items and services for sale to a wider audience at a reasonable cost.
• Salisbury Congregational Church received $5,000 to support the completion of a four-year project to conserve the church building.
• Shelburne Museum received $2,500 to support an education program providing workshops for 4,000 Vermont schoolchildren.
• St. Johnsbury Athenaeum received $5,000 to support the restoration of “The Domes of Yosemite,” the priceless Bierstadt painting that takes up one whole wall in the Art Gallery.
• The Town of Panton Town Hall Restoration Committee received $25,000 to support the restoration of the iconic and historic cupola of Panton’s town hall.
• Town Hall Theater received $4,000 to support the expansion of its Shakespeare: It’s Elementary! literacy project to Salisbury, Sudbury and Whiting schools.
• Upright Steeple Society received $5,000 to support the weatherization of historic windows in the Lyndon Corner Greek Revival church building.
• Vermont Historical Society received $2,500 to support the annual meeting of the League of Local Historical Societies and Museums.
• Vermont Humanities Council received $2,500 to support the Never Too Early program, which educates childcare providers and other early care and education professionals, as well as parents and guardians who are in need of early literacy training.
The Walter Cerf Community Fund is also currently funding the following organizations with multi-year grants:
• Addison County Readers
• American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Vermont
• Charter House Coalition
• Open Door Clinic
• Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program
• John Graham Shelter
• Leicester Central School
• Mary Johnson Children’s Center
• Middlebury Studio School
• Otter Creek Child Center
• Rokeby Museum