Organizations bring in funds for flood relief
PENN YAN—Several area organizations have been raising funds to help affected people and organizations affected by the flash flooding in May. Some cooperate with other groups, some raise money on their own, but all have been working toward donating flood relief funds to those who require assistance.
The most recent relief effort took place Sunday, July 13 along East Elm St. in the form of the “#PYStrong2K14” benefit concert. The event drew some 350 people, raising approximately $1,500 to donate to the Arc of Yates. The show featured performances by Ruby Shooz, Knight Patrol, Johnny Smoke, Stone Soul Foundation, Dirty Jameson and Buster Crab, with additional acoustic acts.
The Penn Yan Rotary Club met Tuesday, July 1 with representatives of six not-for-profits who received $30,000 in donations for flood relief. The money was raised through the Penn Yan Rotary as part of an 11 county fundraising effort to help aid in flood relief. Rotary District 7120 encompasses Yates, Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming and Allegany Counties, all who contributed money to help those still in need in Penn Yan.
Since the flash flooding hit Penn Yan, Yates County, Branchport and the town of Jerusalem May 14, community members and organizations have worked together. During the height of the flood response, Milly’s Pantry, the Living Well and Project KidCare provided food, clothing and household supplies.
The Arc of Yates, Camp Good Days and the Free Masons received funds for use in replacing materials and equipment ruined in the flood. The efforts of area volunteers were also recognized for their aid during the flash flooding.
The Yates Community Endowment has also earmarked over $130,000 from the special Disaster Relief Fund to go to the Keuka Housing Council and the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC). Both non-profit organizations are working together to bring funds to those people and businesses who have been hardest hit.
Steve Griffin, executive director of the FLDC and Renee Bloom, executive director of the Keuka Housing Council, both recognize the difficulty in dispersing the funds.
“We have worked hard to make sure we are not duplicating efforts...that we check everything with the state and that we disperse the funds through committee recommendations, not individual ones,” said Bloom.
Griffin agreed, saying, “It takes time to be thorough. I know businesses are anxious to get some financial relief but we need to do this carefully. Some of our applicants are non-profits and because of that they do not qualify for state aid that was available to businesses. They fall into a gap that we are working to help cover, along with getting money to for-profit businesses.”
Both Bloom and Griffin said 100 percent of the money donated by the Yates Community Endowment Disaster Relief Fund goes out to those in need and does not get used for any administrative costs at either organization.
Some of the businesses that have received money from the Yates Community Endowment’s donations to FLEDC include the Penn Yan Diner, the Arc of Yates County, the Wagner, Abandon Brewing, Literacy Volunteers, City Hill Construction and the Masonic Temple.
Bat McGrath’s June 7 benefit concert at Keuka College also helped to raise some $9,680 for flood victims. The Pirate Toy Fund out of Monroe County and News10NBC worked in June to help Christmas for the Needy replenish between $10,000 and $20,000 worth of toys that were damaged by holding a toy drive in Marketplace Mall, which helped raise more than 1,000 toys.
The Finger Lakes Times’ fundraising for flood relief has also generated more than $40,000 to contribute to the areas impacted by the flash flooding. This money will be seen by areas like Camp Good Days and Special Times as well as the Arc of Yates.