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NCCF celebrates 2017

at 32nd Annual Meeting

On Monday, June 18, the NCCF board and staff members welcomed over 100 community members to the 32nd Annual Meeting held at the JCC Training and Conference Center.

Gina Paradis, Board President, welcomed guests. John Banach and Bernadette Banach led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Brooke Vespoli's beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.

The meeting featured highlights of 2017 and glimpses into 2018.  Treasurer Peter Ryan presented the 2017 Financial Report.  Net investment performance for 2017 was 14.9%, an increase from 2016’s 11.0%. Peter also reported on the 2017 audited financial statements. The NCCF received a clean and unqualified opinion, indicating that the financial records provided for 2017 were free of misrepresentations and were in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The staff was acknowledged for their exemplary work throughout the year. An electronic copy of the audit is available on the NCCF website.

Diane Hannum, Executive Director, reported that over $1.1 million was invested in our community in the form of grants, scholarships, and through special initiatives. She reminded attendees that this investment is possible because of donors, many of whom were in room, that support the work of the NCCF. In 2017, the NCCF awarded 418 grants to local nonprofits and 279 scholarships to local students. The total number of funds held at the NCCF reached 407. Assets increased from 2016 by 14.57% to $27,571,635.

Collaborative partnerships are key to the NCCF's success, according Diane. Our goal of a better community for all is shared by many organizations, businesses, and individuals within the community. Through collective action, the NCCF is achieving this goal. Three initiatives discussed were the Coalition of Chautauqua County Women & Girls (local level); LIFTOFF – WNY Early Childhood Funders for Change (regional level); and Great Lakes One Water Partnership (national level).


Rachel Foley, member of the nominating committe, presented the committee's slate of nominees. All of the committee's recommendations were approved by the voting membership.

Helen Baran, Katherine Brinkman, and Susan L. Wells were welcomed back to the Board of Directors for a second and final 5-year term. Newly elected to serve a first 5-year term on the Board were John Hamels and Danielle Marx. 

Donald Burdick, Kelly Brown, Monica Kemp-Simpson, and Gail Miller were reelected to Voting Membership. Newly elected for their first 3-year term to Voting Membership were Jessica Gugino, Kyle Leikam, Donna Metzger, Julie Obert, Wilfred Rosas, and Douglas Stock.

Appointed to the Nominating Committee were Rachel Foley, Richard Ryan, and Susan L. Wells.

Thank You

Diane Hannum thanked all the volunteers who serve on the board and various committees. Six volunteers who have completed their terms of service were recognized.

Jerry Hall and Monica White were honored for ten years of service on the Board of Directors; James Arcoraci, JoAnn Kaufman, and Kurt Maytum were recognized for nine years of service as Voting Members; and, Alberto Rey for nine years of service on the Grants Committee.

Alona Forbes

2018 George B. Weaver Jr. Footprints Award

Diane Hannum (left), NCCF Executive Director, presented Alona Forbes with the 2018 George B. Weaver Jr. Footprints Award at the NCCF's 32nd Annual Meeting. Many were in attendance to celebrate her philanthropy and service to the community. Alona's granddaughter, Brooke Vespoli sang the national anthem at the start of the annual meeting. Also, her friends Pauline Emilson and Molly Golando from the New Horizons Band played their french horns during the reception. 

Through the Alona Forbes Donor Advised Fund at the NCCF, Alona wlll continue to give back to her community - forever. To learn more about Alona's work in the community, view this year's Footprints Award video on YouTube.

Thank you for 20 wonderful years at NCCF!

Nancy began her career with us in 1998 as Administrative Coordinator. In the summer of 2008, she took on the responsibility of coordinating the scholarship program.

During her tenure, our assets rose from $6,512,780 to $27,571,635; and scholarship funds rose from 99 to 210! 

Nancy accepted new responsibilities with enthusiasm. She made an impact on numerous students through the years and made many friends along the way. 

We are the better for her time spent with us. All the best for an amazing retirement!

Securing our future

You've lived here.
You've worked here.
Your community has been good to you.
You can give back with a gift to the community's future.

Whether you're a life-long resident or a new member of the community, we hope northern Chautauqua County is a place you're proud to call home. The community has undoubtedly invested in you and your family; the NCCF can help you pay it forward and invest into the community's growth and sustainability. One way to leave a lasting impact and inspire positive change is through an endowment fund.

An endowment fund at the NCCF bears your name and represents the hard work and values that have defined your life. It will become your and your family's charitable legacy and connects people through a shared sense of purpose and passion for northern Chautauqua County.

Your endowment fund will grow and continue to make important grants to local causes you care about - forever. Your fund is permanently endowed, so the principle remains intact and grows as time passes. 

The NCCF provides grantmaking support and access to community information in a wide range of interest areas. Your endowment fund will increase your ability to make a difference today and forever.

Call or e-mail us today to discuss establishing your endowment fund at 716-366-4892,

Scholarship award

Congratulations to Francine Torres on receiving the Thomas L. Barresi Memorial Scholarship!

Francine is a 2017 graduate from Panama Central School. She is currently studying Business Management at Jamestown Business College. Francine began her career by obtaining her Cosmetologist license through New York State. Now she is studying business management with the goal of opening her own salon. She knows that a college education will give her the knowledge and confidence to run a thriving business.

"My father is a self-employed businessman and is a great role model. He has inspired me to further my education and that all goals are attainable," states Francine.

The Thomas L. Barresi Scholarship was established in August 2009 by the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce in appreciation for Tom Barresi's 25 years of employment with the chamber and a lifetime of service to the community. Students are eligible to apply if they attend a Chautauqua County School, are pursuing a degree in either business or in elementary education, are active in the community, possess an enthusiasm for life, and demonstrate leadership qualities. Visit the Thomas L. Barresi Scholarship page for additional information.

Community Grants Program

This bi-annual program addresses the most pressing needs and promising opportunities within northern Chautauqua County.  These grants are made possible through the generosity of those who have established or who have contributed to an unrestricted fund (community fund).  

Due Date

Letters of Interest for grant proposals must be received at the NCCF office by Saturday, September 1, 2018, 4 p.m.

Contact Eileen Ardillo, Program Coordinator, for additional information on the grants program. Her contact information is 716-366-4892 or by e-mail at To learn about other NCCF grant opportunities, visit the website at

Monthly Nonprofit - Community Networking Session 

Tuesday, July 3rd
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
at the NCCF
212 Lake Shore Drive W., Dunkirk

On behalf of the On the table partners, thank you to everyone who participate in a conversation or completed the survey. 

The report compiled from the surveys will be available later this year.
Donate to an NCCF Fund
NCCF 2016 Annual Report
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