2015 Grant Awards



The Binghamton Philharmonic is creating an exciting new tool to enhance the experience of concert-goers, expand the orchestra’s audience and generate new revenues. The tool is an electronic program book, which patrons can use to: download information about upcoming programs; learn details about the orchestra; and view musicians’ bios, remarks from the maestro and other materials, on video. During a performance, the electronic program book will deliver real-time concert notes to the audience via Twitter. Also, corporate supporters will be able to insert commercials or other messages, or links to their web pages. The Hoyt Foundation’s $65,000 capacity building grant will support the initial design of the electronic program book.



The Broome Community College Foundation raises money to give direct financial aid to high-achieving students at SUNY Broome Community College. This is an especially important role in today’s economy, as students take on an increasing portion of the cost of a community college education. All community college foundations face special fundraising challenges, compared with four-year colleges. But the BCC Foundation has managed to build strong support among alumni and other donors. In 2015, Hoyt awarded the BCC Foundation a $25,000 program grant toward the Grants-in-Aid Program for students in need. With this money, the BCC Foundation can make a $1,000 award to each of 25 students who live in Broome County, have demonstrated financial need and have maintained grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.



Each year, established arts organizations that bring energy and excitement to our community look to the Broome County Arts Council’s (BCAC) United Cultural Fund (UCF) for essential operating support. The UCF also makes project grants to individual artists and nonprofit organizations in the county. In 2015, BCAC’s UCF Campaign raised $282,953 from all donors. That included $10,000 from new donors, raised in response to a challenge from the Hoyt Foundation. For 2016, BCAC faces a new challenge from Hoyt, to raise $10,000 from new business donors. Work toward that goal started in March 2015. At the same time, BCAC is conducting several other initiatives to ensure the organization’s long term success. In 2015, Hoyt granted BCAC $100,000 toward the 2016 UCF campaign.



Since 1992, Broome County Habitat for Humanity has helped families in Broome County move from substandard housing into their own homes. A family joins the program through a rigorous application process. Members also take credit counseling and home buyer education classes, and the family contributes at least 400 hours of labor to its own or another Habitat project. Along with the family, volunteers drawn from many partner organizations work on the construction. In 2015, the Hoyt Foundation awarded Habitat $87,100 to help build a home in partnership with the Broome/Tioga BOCES Building Trades Program. High school and adult students in the program will construct a modular home on campus. Habitat will then move the building to a permanent site and sell to a family at no profit, with a no-interest mortgage.



The Broome County Humane Society has operated from the same location since 1970. Small, dilapidated and inefficient, this building offers no room to grow, even as the Society takes in a larger number of animals year over year. When the Society hired a general contractor to analyze the property, the study found that, due to the excessive cost, renovation and expansion would not be viable options. So the Society is building a new shelter. When this project is complete, the Society will be able to: serve more animals; establish an animal crematory—a service not currently available in Broome County; provide limited veterinary services, such as animal vaccination and spay and neutering, for low-income clients; and offer grooming services. The Hoyt Foundation has made a $100,000 capital grant toward the new building.



The Cider Mill Playhouse (CMP) serves more than 20,000 patrons each year with a wide range of high-quality theatrical performances, featuring both local and national talent. Based on its strategic plan, developed in collaboration with the New York State Council of Nonprofits (NYCON), CMP is installing a new sound system and new communications systems. The Hoyt Foundation has supported this work with a capital/capacity building grant of $54,995. The upgrade will: provide a better experience for theater-goers, including patrons with hearing challenges; bring the facility into line with current professional and safety standards for the theater industry; allow CMP to support more community events and educational programs; and help CMP attract high-caliber actors, stage managers, designers and other professionals.



Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County (CCE-BC) provides a variety of resources to promote human, economic and community development. Its newest initiative is an Agricultural Development Center, designed as a food hub for the Southern Tier. The Center will include: a Taste NY store, where farmer sell locally-produced products; two state-of-the art classrooms for classes in marketing and agricultural science; and leased space for the Northeast Organic Farmer’s Association, the Broome County Farm Bureau and the NYS Ag and Markets Milk Lab. A $100,000 capital grant from Hoyt will help CCE-BC restore the Cutler Home, the original farmhouse on its property, to house this new venture.



The Food Bank of the Southern Tier works with a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other organizations to distribute food and other necessities to people in need. In its annual Virtual Turkey Drive, the Food Bank solicits donations to buy turkeys and other food to help families with tight resources get through the holiday season. In 2015, the Hoyt Foundation contributed $5,000 to the Turkey Drive to help provide holiday meals to people in Broome County.



As the local population ages, senior citizens in Broome County find it harder to secure appropriate housing and care. There’s a waiting list for space, especially in facilities that offer Enhanced Assisted Living, designed for seniors who need help with day-to-day activities such as bathing. A $150,000 capital grant from the Hoyt Foundation will help Good Shepherd Fairview conduct a major renovation to its Binghamton community. The project will convert 35 rooms from Adult Care to Advanced Assisted Living, putting that level of care within reach of more people who need it. Good Shepherd Fairview will also: upgrade the building’s energy systems; improve its spaces for dining, socializing and holding meetings; renovate 40 independent living apartments; upgrade the information technology system to accommodate electronic health records; and enhance the grounds.



Since 2002, Goodwill Theatre, Inc. (GWT) has been working to develop a regional performing arts center, including a professional training academy, in several historic buildings in Johnson City. Since 2007, GWT has presented a rich variety of performances and workshops in its first finished facility, the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage. At the same time, the organization continues to work toward its broader vision. With a $17,000 grant from the Hoyt Foundation, GWT is now collaborating with NYCON on an organizational capacity study. The purpose is to paint a picture of the current organization, consider potential improvements and determine what GWT must do to realize the goals it hopes to achieve by 2020. While studying issues such as governance, accounting and financial reporting systems, human resources and risk management, GWT and NYCON will also work on succession planning with the CEO and board.



The John Mack Foundation donates Automatic Equipment Defibrillators (AEDs) to sports teams and community groups. Friends and family of John Mack created the foundation in memory of John Mack, a 17-year old high school student who died in 2006 after going into sudden cardiac arrest during a lacrosse game. It took 19 minutes to get a defibrillator to the field to restart John’s heart, and during that time he suffered irreversible brain damage. The John Mack Foundation has donated more than 50 AEDs to organizations throughout Broome County. An annual fundraiser, a lacrosse tournament, supplies much of the money the foundation needs, but requests for help have outstripped its resources. Using a $3,500 grant from the Hoyt Foundation, the Mack Foundation will be able to donate AEDs to three five organizations on its waiting list.



Located on a hill 13 miles outside Binghamton, the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center (KOSC) is one of the best-equipped observatories in the northeastern U.S. Each year, it educates and entertains as many as 10,000 visitors with programs, classes and events on topics such as astronomy, earth science, rocketry, robotics and sound and light. Nighttime programs allow visitors of all ages to view the stars from the observatory’s telescopes. Using a $10,000 capacity building grant, KOSC is working with NYCON to conduct an organizational assessment. The goal is to define the organization’s strengths and critical challenges, and recommend strategies to keep KOSC solvent, stable and strong.



Nonprofit organizations in Broome County receive invaluable support from the Southern Tier Capacity-Building Program. Since 2006, this collaboration between five local foundations (including Hoyt), the United Way of Broome County and the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) has offers training and support to help nonprofits improve their operations and governance. In 2016, the consortium will offer five capacity-building workshops that teach nonprofits how to implement best practices. An organization that takes part in any of these workshops may also apply for a mini-grant and to undergo a mini-assessment, both focused on capacity-building. Hoyt has awarded the initiative $10,000 in support for 2016.



Tri-Cities Opera (TCO) has been enriching the cultural life of Broome County, and drawing audiences from far beyond that core region, since it started staging full-scale productions in 1952. In partnership with the music program at Binghamton University, TCO has trained singers who have moved on to perform at major opera houses around the world. Opera across throughout the U.S. and Canada regularly rent scenery and costumes designed and produced by TCO. In 2015, the Hoyt Foundation gave TCO a capital grant of $26,897 to renovate its landmark building in Binghamton. By replacing windows and making repairs to walls and entrances, TCO can extend the life of its headquarters facility while also making the building more energy-efficient.



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The Hoyt Foundation
70 Front Street
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