OLEAN, NY -- The Niemic family recently established the Roger S. Niemic Memorial Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation to support organizations championing research for a cure to juvenile diabetes.

The late Mr. Niemic’s brothers and sisters, Karen Niemic Buchheit, Tim Niemic, Terri (Niemic) Warras and Doug Niemic, and mother and father,  Stan and Pat Niemic, decided to establish the fund following his unexpected passing on March 22,at age 55 after a very brief illness.

The late Mr. Niemic, who lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, had juvenile diabetes since his childhood but managed his illness and led a full and productive life, said Buchheit, who is the CRCF executive director.

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The family decided that establishing the fund would be an impactful way to preserve the memory of their fun-loving, good-natured brother and son while fighting a disease that affected him, Buchheit added.

“Losing a brother and son is hard, more so to lose him at such a young age so unexpectedly,” she said. “However, creating this fund and seeing memorial donations sent in his name have provided a healing touch for our family amidst our grief.

“I help other families set up memorial funds quite often in my role as CRCF executive director, and now I understand even more on a personal level how helpful philanthropy can be in remembering a loved one and channeling a painful loss into something positive,” Buchheit added.

The endowment will provide annual grants to support the research and cure of juvenile diabetes through organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and/or local chapters of JDRF such as the Western Pennsylvania Chapter and the Greater Western Carolinas Chapter.

The late Mr. Niemic, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Gannon University and a master’s degree from Marquette University. He went on to work for GE in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then in 2000 took a job with Vanguard in Charlotte.

Donations can be made to the Roger S. Niemic Memorial Fund at CRCF, 301 N. Union St., Suite 203, Olean NY 14760 or online

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 foundation@cattfoundation.org or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook and Twitter.