The Kay and Oliver Williams/Rushford Endowment Fund recently made possible $6,728 in grants to organizations that support the Rushford area community and help preserve its heritage.

The late Mr. Williams, a Rushford resident, established the endowment at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation in order to continue supporting the causes that he and his wife, Kay, supported during their life.

The following received grants of $1,054 each:

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  • Rushford First Baptist Church
  • Rushford United Methodist Church
  • Rushford Free Library

Grants for $713.20 each were made to the following five organizations:

  • Rushford Concert Band
  • Conservation Camp? through Cuba-Rushford Central School Outdoors program
  • Rushford Cemetery Association
  • Cuba Scout Pack 708 (Cuba-Rushford)
  • Podonque Cemetery

“The Kay and Oliver Williams Fund demonstrates the power of an endowment,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “The fund has been supporting causes selected by Mr. Williams in the Rushford community since he chose to establish it at CRCF in 1999 and it will continue to provide annual support to those organizations in perpetuity.”

One of the long-time recipients of grants from the Kay and Oliver Williams Fund is the Rushford Concert Band, and its leaders can attest to its importance.

Nancy Phearsdorf, Rushford Concert Band secretary and business manager, said that grants from the Williams fund have allowed purchasing of new arrangements, advertising and repairs to the “century old bandwagon” that, pulled by horse, carries the group through parades all over the area.

“The Rushford Town Band was formed in 1857, we are celebrating 160th year anniversary of making music for public enjoyment, the list is short for those who can make that 'boast,’” she added.

She added that the band’s long history runs deep in the town’s history, as relics from the band like sheet music, antique instruments and past uniforms are proudly on display at the Rushford Historical Society, where the band has its own room.

“Grant money from the Kay and Oliver Williams Fund is an important part of our yearly budget and allows us to keep going strong,” she concluded.

Donations can be made to the Kay and Oliver Williams/Rushford Endowment Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union Street, Suite 203 or online at

Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email, or visit online at CRCF is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CattFoundation).