HOLLSOPPLE, Pa. – The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has exceeded $100 million in total assets and announced more than $1 million in new grant awards.

More than $88 million of the CFA’s total assets are invested in funds that will continue providing grants to address the needs of the region, theoretically forever, CFA President Mike Kane said Wednesday.

Kane formally announced the milestone and new round of grants during the organization’s 31st Founders’ Day celebration at Quemahoning Family Recreation Area.

The community event included a picnic dinner and live music.

Kane stressed that the organization’s assets have been built up by many local donors over the years.

“That grassroots sort of philanthropy makes this milestone more remarkable,” he said. “There’s no Bill Gates or Bill Rockefeller giving half the money. This has all come from people in the community to grow the community.”

The CFA invests gifts from donors, and interest earned on those gifts is distributed to local nonprofits to respond to community needs.

The more than $1 million in grants announced Wednesday was for community and economic development.

Helping children

Among the 22 recipients was The Learning Lamp, which was awarded $50,000 to expand child care in Somerset County.

Businesses rely on employees and employees rely on child care, Learning Lamp President and CEO Leah Spangler said.

But in Somerset County, 2,560 children age 5 and younger needed care in 2020, and the 1,341 slots among child care providers doesn’t come close to meeting the demand.

“This is a really important project tor us,” Spangler said.

“The funding from the CFA will enable us to invest in Somerset child care and will help us expand available care to more children.”

YWCA’s top grant

The YWCA Greater Johnstown, 526 Somerset St., was awarded $102,000 for renovation of the building’s exterior.

The building was constructed in the 1930s, YWCA board chairwoman Diane Lopez said.

“It’s imperative that we keep it up so that it doesn’t become blighted,” Lopez said.

The YWCA’s pool is open Monday through Saturday for swim classes and activities.

“This is the biggest grant the YWCA has ever gotten,” Lopez said. “We were very excited and honored the CFA felt our project was worthwhile. Those are dollars are committed by the community, and we are extremely honored and proud.”

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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