The Ithaca Rotary Club has awarded nearly $12,800 in community grants that will fund personal protective equipment for an after-school program, packets of seeds and vegetable plants for low-income families and online programming for a youth theatre group.
The annual grant program received 33 proposals requesting $29,000 this year. The grants were awarded by the Ithaca Rotary Club Grants Committee, co-chaired by Jessica Gosa, executive director of Foodnet Meals on Wheels.
“The decisions were especially difficult this year because there were so many worthy requests,” Gosa said. “The grants committee was impressed by all of the projects, which reflect how organizations have had to pivot their operations and programming during the pandemic.”
The agencies will be recognized at the Rotary Club meeting at 12:15 on Wednesday, October 7 on Zoom. Anyone who wants to attend the meeting can request a Zoom link on the club’s website at
Funding for the grants is raised through Rotary’s annual Little Apple Fall Follies (LAFF) event each October. This year, LAFF has been postponed because of the pandemic, but organizers are hoping to stage the event in some form in the spring of 2021.
The 2020 grant recipients are:
Cancer Resource Center - $453
Comfort bags filled with personal care items
Catholic Charities - $800
Family-style dinners for homeless women
Cornell Cooperative Extension – Tompkins County - $1,000
Provide seeds, vegetable starts and soil to low-income families
Fall Creek After School - $971
Purchase personal protective equipment and supplies
Family & Children’s Service - $1,000
Webcams for mental telehealth services
Greenstar Community Projects - $1,000
Purchase a hoop house to extend growing season
Habitat for Humanity - $1,000
Tools, safety gear and personal protective equipment
Ithaca Health Alliance - $899
Purchase IQAir Health Pro Plus air purifier
Longview - $1,000
Add eight Wi-Fi points to improve telehealth and video chats
Midstate Education and Service Foundation - $750
Purchase high-quality projector for youth trainings
Open Doors English (CTA) - $1,000
Individual and small group tutoring
Running to Places - $1,000
Free online programming for middle and high school students
Tompkins Learning Partners - $988
Distance learning materials
Unity House – $930
10 personal protective equipment emergency kits for Tompkins County programs
The grants to Catholic Charities and Midstate Education & Service Foundation were provided by the Ithaca Rotary’s donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County.
Ithaca Rotary’s community grants are intended to promote the quality of life in the greater Ithaca area. The grants, which range in amount from $200 to $1,000, support organizations that have special projects or needs which are not funded by general funding sources. 
Contributions to Rotary’s Community Grants program are gratefully accepted at any time. Donation checks may be made payable to Ithaca Rotary Club and mailed to P.O. Box 306, Ithaca, NY 14851. Please note “Community grants” on the memo line.
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Membership to the Ithaca Rotary Club is open to all community members who share in this belief; new members are accepted year-round.
Ithaca Rotary gathers every Wednesday at 12:15pm for meetings on Zoom. The public is welcome to attend and learn more about Rotary. Additional information about the Ithaca Rotary Club may be found online at