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10 regional youth sports and recreation projects awarded $214,000 in grants to improve, expand programs

Rochester Area Community Foundation is awarding $214,000 to 10 local youth sports and recreation programs from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Youth Sports. The fund, created by the private foundation of the late founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills to benefit the Greater Rochester region, has now invested nearly $1.5 million in local programs over the past five years.

The 2022 grants range from $8,359 to $25,000 and support projects that will have a direct impact on thousands of youth in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Yates counties. 

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a number of challenges for the 2021 grant round and only 20 projects were submitted for consideration. This year, 30 applications were filed and half were first-time applicants.

The submitted applications requested a total of $623,780. The advisory Youth Sports Leadership Team recommended nine projects be fully funded and one receive partial funding. 

The 2022 grant recipients and details on their projects are:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester, Inc.: To restart the Weekend Free Play Zone, which will provide non-club youth ages 6 to 18 the opportunity to participate for free in sports activities every Saturday. $25,000

Canandaigua Kiwanis Foundation, Inc.: To complete the final stages of an all-inclusive playground on Outhouse Road to include a continuous rubberized playground surface, an open-air pavilion with picnic tables and seating, and four family restrooms. $25,000

Center for Disability Rights: To support the Rochester Rookies wheelchair and ambulatory track and field sports program for athletes ages 5 to 23 with physical, learning, and developmental disabilities. This program will include help from teachers and students in specialized programs at State University College at Brockport and Nazareth College. $12,815

Friends of Roc City Skatepark, Inc.: The goal of the ROC Rolling Friends, Mentors and Guides Project is to leverage skateboarding and other self-propelled wheeled sports to create a sustainable network for enthusiasts to support each other and connect with those who may be interested but have limited or no access to these experiences. $25,000

Garth Fagan Dance: To replace two warped dance floors that will allow the dance company and school to continue to hold year-round rehearsals, performances, and dance classes for 200-plus students. $17,966

Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester, Inc.: To send five teenage athletes and a coach from the Rochester area to San Diego in late July to the Maccabi Games, a competition involving team and individual sports for Jewish athletes across the country. $8,359

Monroe Community College Foundation: To expand MCC’s Healthy Hero Summer Camp, which runs for five weeks and serves children from the City of Rochester, to include adventure-based learning that requires problem-solving, team initiatives, creative challenges, games, and climbing. $24,860

Roc E6: In hopes of increasing participation and interest in lacrosse by City of Rochester youth (kindergarten to grade 12), this year-round program will expand to a second smaller lacrosse playing field to be able to add more younger players. $25,000

Wayne County Action Program, Inc.: More hours and a regular sports component will be added to the nine-week summer program at Newark’s Alex Eligh Community Center and Perkins Park for students in kindergarten through grade 5. Recruitment will focus on students of color and other students who are considered academically at-risk. To continue the summer’s efforts, 24 students will be selected to participate in free martial arts classes from September through July 2023. $25,000

Yates Cultural & Recreational Resources, Inc.: Supports construction of new facilities at the Yates Community Center in Penn Yan that will include an outdoor full basketball/pickleball court, pavilion, and playground along with a 9,000 square-foot indoor facility with turf. $25,000