Lyndonville Area Foundation gives pandemic response aid

CONTRIBUTED  Pastor Martha Mitchell, head of the Lyndonville-Yates Emergency Food Pantry, receives a check from Doug Hedges, left, treasurer of the Lyndonville Area Foundation, and David Cook, right, a director of the foundation and member of its grants committee.


LYNDONVILLE — The Lyndonville Area Foundation recently approved $40,000 in grants to nonprofit agencies throughout Orleans County to assist with COVID-19-related challenges. Among the recipients were several countywide food pantries that had exhausted their supplies due to high demand spurred by widespread unemployment.


As a result of the current pandemic, the foundation has fielded an unusual volume of requests for financial assistance, according to foundation president Darren D. Wilson.

While the foundation's mission and bylaws direct funding to be distributed in a manner that directly benefits the citizens of Lyndonville and the town of Yates, the board recognized that current conditions do not reflect normal times, and determined it's appropriate to provide temporary assistance to the neighboring communities of Medina, Kendall and Albion, said David Cook, a director and member of the foundation’s grants committee.

The board voted to approve grants to Hospice of Orleans, Lyndonville Central School District, Lyndonville Lions Club, Orleans County Adult Learning Services, Lyndonville Volunteer Fire Department, Project Stork, the Lyndonville office of Oak Orchard Health and Medina-based Praising Kids Child Care Center.

“The final decisions are not always easy and there are grant requests that are far from our scope,” Wilson said. “However, the members of our foundation’s board work together for the betterment of our community, and have a deep understanding of areas in which we can assist our neighbors, while staying within the bylaws which the founding fathers put forth at the foundation’s inception many years ago.”

The Lyndonville Area Foundation arose from a project by Lyndonville Lions Club, initiated in 1965-66, to help finance a school swimming pool, since Lyndonville was the only school district in the area without that amenity. Club and community members and Medina-based attorney Paul Miles put together the foundation over a roughly two-year period and once it was legally established, it became an instrument for financing school tennis courts and development of a community library.

The school swimming pool never became a reality, Wilson noted.

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