2018 Grant Awards

A Message from the Executive Director

There is a time for some things,
And a time for all things;
A time for great things,
And a time for small things.
-- Don Quixote

As Executive Director of the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, I am honored to play an integral role in Hoyt's stewardship. I believe that the Hoyt Foundation's responsible management and thoughtful grant making practices are intimately linked to the preservation and successful revitalization of Broome County.

Throughout its funding history, Hoyt's grants have had an exponential impact on the City of Binghamton and Broome County and they continue to do so today. In most instances, where Hoyt provides support, change occurs. In each of the fields where it concentrates—arts, humanities, education, health, and human services—Hoyt can point to myriad examples of success and transformation. The Foundation has funded large and small organizations—neighborhood-based and countywide, urban and rural—and all these grants have made a difference. The programs described in this report illustrate the kind of growth and achievement that Hoyt funding stimulates. I am privileged to be a part of these efforts.

In 2018, the Hoyt Foundation awarded approximately $813,400 in grants to nonprofit organizations. As changes and challenges inevitably arise, the Hoyt Foundation will continue to address critical needs and support community enrichment. Often, a project needs only a few thousand well-placed dollars to succeed. In other cases, an organization may require significant donations from many sources to launch a new program or construct a building. The Hoyt Foundation provides grants to organizations that show potential for making a real difference in the community.

As the following pages illustrate, Hoyt's grants, large and small, continue to sustain Willma Hoyt's vision. Guided by our mission, the Hoyt Foundation is committed to "use its resources to enhance the quality of life of the people of Broome County..." The grants the Foundation made to the community in 2018 represent a significant contribution toward that end. This report highlights those grants and demonstrates that our mission statement guides our grant making decisions.

I am grateful to our highly committed Hoyt staff. I salute the community organizations that labor tirelessly to help make our community a better place. Most importantly, I appreciate the support of the Hoyt Foundation Board of Directors, who give so freely of their time and thoughtful deliberation. I look forward to continuing my work as part of the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation's grant making history, and in turn, the continuing revitalization of this community.

Catherine A. Schwoeffermann, Executive Director



When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross uses special Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to deliver meals, supplies, safe shelter, basic health services and emotional support. Until recently, the Southern Tier Chapter of the Red Cross, whose service area includes Broome County, was using a 17-year old ERV that was no longer reliable. The vehicle needed frequent repairs, which posed a challenge, since replacement parts were no longer made for that model. Thanks in part to a $35,000 grant from the Hoyt Foundation, the Red Cross of Broome County—part of the Southern Tier Chapter—has bought a next-generation ERV, a more reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle that is safer and more comfortable than the old model. The new vehicle also offers bonus features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, more window space for distributing meals and external lighting that can be used to illuminate disaster sites.



Big Brothers Big Sisters of America creates life-changing mentoring bonds between adult volunteers and children who face difficulties in their lives. As an affiliate of the national program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers (BBBSTT) has supported these mentorships in our region since 1991. Following a surge of requests from Broome County, in 2015, BBBSTT added Broome to its service area, which also covers Bradford, Sullivan and Tioga Counties in Pennsylvania and Tioga County, N.Y. The program in Broome has its own office space, staff, board of directors and volunteers, and it works exclusively with children and volunteers in that county. The Hoyt Foundation’s $17,500 capacity building grant to BBBSTT will support approximately 20 new mentoring matches in Broome County, covering costs such as volunteer recruitment, mentorship training, transportation, training materials, program literature and supplies for group activities.



Based in downtown Binghamton, the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC) conducts education and outreach initiatives, and collaborates with other community groups, to help make the Southern Tier a more sustainable, environmentally conscious and prosperous region. The BRSC’s Energy Corps Internship Program employs young people, ages 16 to 20, in some key aspects of the organization’s work. One program that relies on the interns is a series of five free, public educational workshops that teach members of the community about solar energy. These workshops focus particularly on engaging children and families, who get the chance to create solar lanterns and solar fans. Hoyt has supported the program with a $4,400 grant. BRSC is using the money to fund additional intern salary hours and buy materials for the workshops.



The Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome serves as a local community center, offering many programs for adults and families. Members of all ages use the club’s pool for instruction, exercise and recreation. The pool’s Dectron Dehumidification Unit, which helps to heat the pool and controls the atmosphere in the pool area, failed in 2017. The club has kept the pool open by implementing a temporary fix. But lack of proper humidity control has endangered the bricks on the outside of the building and the ceiling tiles in the pool area. It has also made the pool area uncomfortable for swimmers. The Hoyt Foundation has provided a capital grant of up to $50,000 to help replace the Dectron Unit.



The Broome Community College (BCC) Foundation uses its grants-in-aid program to help students at SUNY Broome whose needs are not being met by other financial aid programs. This helps ensure that those students can complete their educations and prepare to enter the workforce. Hoyt’s $25,000 grant to the BCC Foundation in 2018 provides grants-in-aid for 25 students who have financial need, who live in Broome County and who maintain grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. Each of those students receives $500 for the fall semester and $500 for the spring.



For many of Broome County’s arts and cultural organizations, the United Cultural Fund (UCF) of the Broome County Arts Council (BCAC) is a crucial source of support. As an umbrella organization, BCAC wields far more fundraising power than an individual nonprofit could muster on its own. Through a new growth plan developed in 2018, BCAC is working to expand the UCF’s donor base, thus making the fund even more effective. BCAC has already obtained several new corporate donors. The organization has made other exciting changes as well. It has a new web site and a new office, it has opened a new gallery and arts retail store, and it is starting to plan new programs and services, such as a county-wide catalog of arts-related opportunities available to the public. In 2018, the Hoyt Foundation gave BCAC $100,000 toward its 2019 UCF Campaign, which seeks to raise a total of $310,000.



Binghamton’s North Side neighborhood has lacked a full service grocery store since 1996. For the neighborhood’s approximately 12,400 residents—46 percent of whom live below the poverty line—that means there’s little access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meat or dairy products. Through a partnership with Your Bargain Grocer, a not-for-profit grocery store in Utica, the Broome County Council of Churches (BCCC) is developing a 3,000-square foot store on the North Side that will sell healthy groceries at deeply discounted prices. Your Bargain Grocer will operate and stock the new store and employ eight North Side residents to work there part time at $12 an hour. The Hoyt Foundation is supporting this initiative with $40,000 to buy equipment, conduct renovations, buy initial stock for the store and pay employees during the store’s first year; and $35,000 to assist with the future purchase of a supply vehicle.



A member of the New York State Neighborhood Preservation Program, the First Ward Action Council develops housing and provides housing services throughout Broome County, N.Y. and Susquehanna County, Pa. It manages more than 120 apartments, including senior housing complexes in Binghamton, Vestal and Choconut. The Action Council also offers a home repair service to senior citizens in Broome County, asking residents to pay only the cost of materials. To help with that service, the Hoyt Foundation has provided $5,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle to transport tools and materials.



Helping Celebrate Abilities (HCA) serves people with disabilities of all ages, with programs that include 15 residential group homes, ten integrated preschool classrooms, employment, counseling and other services. Its Building Blocks Preschool operates at two locations in Binghamton and one in Johnson City. The Hoyt Foundation awarded HCA $5,000 toward the purchase of therapy equipment for these preschool programs.



The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Binghamton has operated its Early Childhood Center (ECC) since 1940. In 2004, to meet the growing demand for high-quality child care, the JCC built a new, 10,000-square foot facility to house its early childhood programs. Today, the ECC serves more than 300 children, ages six weeks to five years, in its infant, toddler, preschool and Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs. The JCC also serves about 150 children with after school care and more than 300 school aged children each year in its summer camp. Thanks to a $49,912 capital grant from Hoyt, the JCC will be able to replace two old, inefficient HVAC units that heat and cool many of the rooms used by children at the JCC. The JCC will replace the old equipment with new, energy-efficient units that meet current safety standards and regulations.



The John Mack Foundation buys automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and donates them to lacrosse clubs and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. It also provides funds for CPR/AED training and works to increase awareness about the need for AEDs. The foundation is named for a 17-year old Binghamton High School student who went into full cardiac arrest after a stick check to his chest during a lacrosse game. It took 19 minutes to get a defibrillator onto the field to restart his heart. John suffered irreparable brain damage and died three days later. The Hoyt Foundation awarded The John Mack Foundation a $4,800 program grant to provide eight AEDs to organizations in Broome County.



The Kopernik Observatory & Science Center (KOSC) in Vestal and the Junior League of Binghamton have joined forces to build the Kopernik Science Park (KSP), a new play and learning space focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The park will be open to the public every day, free of charge, from dawn to dusk. The Hoyt Foundation is providing $60,000 to fund two components of the KSP. One is a compostable toilet system, which will give visitors access to restroom facilities even when Kopernik’s building is closed. The other is a wet pond and bios wale, to be built as contractors drain land to build the park and redirect the water runoff and drainage. Besides filling practical functions, both features will provide opportunities for programs about environmental conservation.



The New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) provides services to more than 3,000 charities in New York State. In our region, NYCON works with several local foundations, including Hoyt, and with the United Way of Broome County, to operate the Southern Tier Capacity-Building Program. This provides a series of training workshops, where staff and board members of local nonprofits can learn strategies for improving their operations. Nonprofits that take part in these workshops may also apply for capacity-building mini-grants, to help them address specific concerns, or to a “building your organizational road map” program, which helps them identify and address fundamental challenges. In 2018, the Hoyt Foundation made a three-year, $45,000 grant to NYCON for the Capacity-Building Program. This funding will provide $15,000 per year in 2019, 2020 and 2021.



Along with the grant for the capacity-building program, Hoyt has awarded NYCON up to $5,000 to help American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton with strategies for organizational development and facility fundraising.



The New York Folklore Society’s mission is to “nurture traditional arts and culture in New York State through education, support, and outreach.” A $2,900 program grant from Hoyt will support two upcoming programs the Society will present in Broome County: “Folklife in the Southern Tier” and “Springtime Traditions in the Southern Tier.”



As Broome County’s federally designated anti-poverty agency, Opportunities for Broome (OFB) operates programs to help people and families become self-reliant while improving the quality of their lives. As part of that mission, OFB owns and manages more than 120 units of safe, affordable housing for people who live on low incomes or who are homeless. The Hoyt Foundation has granted OFB $9,540 to install an outdoor platform lift at one of those apartments, in Binghamton. This equipment will help the resident maintain her independence, continuing to live on her own rather than go into assisted living. When her tenancy ends, OFB will offer this unit to other people who need this kind of accessibility.



The Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theater (RGBT) presents classical ballet performances in Binghamton and Elmira. The company includes students of the Rafael Grigorian School of Ballet, local dancers who audition for the company, and visiting professionals. Supporting RGBT’s 2018 performance of The Nutcracker, the Hoyt Foundation provided $2,850 to defray the cost of guest performers’ salaries.



The Roberson Museum and Science Center approached the Hoyt Foundation in 2018 for help making safety and security upgrades throughout its facility. Roberson needs these improvements to make sure it can: keep visitors and staff safe; protect its collections, including the Roberson Mansion; prosecute vandalism and other crimes when they occur; comply fully with current fire and safety codes; and decrease the organization’s liability. To address these issues, the Hoyt Foundation has granted Roberson $148,413 to: install a new fire alert system in the Museum wing; buy and install a new security system for the Mansion and Museum; upgrade safety features such as fire doors, security sensors, and lighting in the parking lot; address various safety concerns throughout the buildings; and add accessible emergency exits that meet current code requirements.



The Community Center at Binghamton’s Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church provides meeting and event space for many local organizations. Among these are the Southern Tier AIDS Program, Binghamton Community Dance, the Promise Zone After-School Program, the Summer Savoyards and the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton, as well as the Trinity Canteen, which offers meals to people in need. With an $8,610 capital grant from the Hoyt Foundation, the church has installed a handicap chair lift in the stairway connecting the Community Center’s first and second floors. The lift makes the second floor accessible to more people, allowing more members of the community to attend events in spaces on that level.



As the only licensed, full day child care program in the region, the Wilson Children’s Center provides high-quality, reliable child care to families in the village of Deposit and nearby communities. The center serves children from the ages of six weeks to 12 years. In 2018, the Hoyt Foundation provided $11,500 for a summer enhancement experience for school-aged children, age’s five to 12. This program is a vital resource for families that can’t afford enrichment activities on their own. The program’s on-site activities included a soccer program, art explorations with a variety of media, and a Zoo-To-You program offered by Animal Adventure Park. The program also took children on trips to: Apple Hills, to learn about farming; the Discovery Center, for the bee keeping exhibit; the Deposit State Theater for children’s films; and Midway Lanes for bowling games.


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The Hoyt Foundation
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