Oneida Improvement Committee Wins CNY85 Giving Project Grant

CNY85 4th winnerJanuary 16, 2013 (Syracuse, NY) – Oneida Improvement Committee (OIC) was announced the winner of an $8,500 grant from the Central New York Community Foundation today after successfully garnering the most public votes in The CNY85 Giving Project’s final round. Twenty-seven nonprofit organizations were competing in the online vote, which ran the entire month of December. More than 50,000 total votes were cast before polls closed.

The OIC will use the award to create a non-motorized multiuse trail system in and around the City of Oneida. It will establish committees, recruit volunteers, design signage and work with local government, utility companies and homeowners to bring the trails to fruition. The trail system will connect shopping, neighborhoods, schools and parks, benefitting all who utilize its paths. The OIC projects that the new trail system will generate economic development, enhance the community’s quality of life and good health, improve the local environment, develop civic engagement, and preserve the area’s heritage.

The CNY85 Giving Project was created to engage the public in the Community Foundation’s 85-year anniversary celebration while also drawing attention to the many nonprofit organizations benefiting Central New York. The online campaign encouraged visitors to its website – – to vote for a project once a day during the designated month. A full list of the projects that have participated so far can be viewed at

The month of December was the fourth and final voting period of The CNY85 Giving Project over the course of the year. The December round featured arts, culture, recreation and civic engagement projects.

Winners of the previous three rounds were as follows:

Round 3: Education and Technology Projects – Jowonio School

  • The Jowonio School received this grant to provide tablets and specialized communication apps to young children with special needs. The technology will allow children, some who struggle to or cannot speak, to engage with the classroom curriculum and participate socially with peers and adults, preparing them for the next level of their schooling.

Round 2: Housing, Health and Human Service Projects – Orenda Springs Experiential Learning Center

  • The Orenda Springs Experiential Learning Center received this grant to provide 200 Syracuse City middle and high school students with the opportunity to participate in a day-long empowerment program at the facility. Activities include a low and high element ropes course where students learn to overcome their insecurities. The grant will be used to provide transportation, programming and food for eight trips of 25 students each.

Round 1: Environmental, Economic Development and Transportation Projects – Madison County Office for the Aging

  • The Madison County Office for the Aging received this grant for its elderly medical transportation program, which provides seniors with rides to their physicians, eye care professionals, pharmacies and other medical-related appointments.

About CNYVitals

Each round features projects of different themes based on findings of a community indicators project, CNYVitals. The community indicators were the result of a collaborative effort between Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, FOCUS Greater Syracuse, the Central New York Community Foundation, city and county municipalities and a host of community-based organizations that have signed on to help gather and analyze the data on Central New York’s greatest needs.

The resulting data is a snapshot of Central New York’s current state of affairs within various interest areas. The architects of the project hope that making this information available to the general public will inspire collaborative discussion and action to address the community’s most pressing needs while also focusing funding and programming on projects and initiatives that will have the greatest positive impact on the region. All of the data can be viewed and contributed to at

About the Central New York Community Foundation

In 2012, the Central New York Community Foundation celebrated its 85-year anniversary. Founded in 1927, it strives to inspire philanthropy in Central New York by connecting the generosity of donors with community needs – making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York from nearly 600 charitable endowment funds that it manages. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. As the region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation is located at 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 and can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

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