Area service clubs together raised $6,075 for the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County during the Service Above Self Challenge, exceeding the $5,000 goal and challenge grant offered by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

The challenge, which began May 1, encouraged donations from the Olean Rotary Club, Zonta Club, Enchanted Mountain Exchange Club, Knights of Columbus Lady knights, Allegany Amerian Legion, Olean Lion's Club, Olean Area Young Professionals and Portville Lions Club.

In honor of the Olean Rotary Club’s high level of club participation, CRCF will be making an additional $500 contribution to the fund.

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“We want to applaud the selfless efforts of all of the area service clubs to support COVID-19 relief through this challenge,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchhet. “We especially want to celebrate the efforts of Sandy Sleggs, Risa Michienzi and the rest of the Olean Rotary Club for organizing the challenge and all they do year-round to make our community a better place through service.”

Established by CRCF, the United Way of Cattaraugus County and Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County supports nonprofits working on the front lines to help those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak by providing grants that support basic needs of Cattaraugus County residents such as access to food, housing, mental health services and more.

A second round of grant applications will open June 1 at cattfoundation.org/covid-19-response-fund. Guidelines and updates to eligibility will be posted on the CRCF website soon as well.

“This challenge played an important role in raising funds that are so needed for this second round of grants,” Buchheit added. “The need for so many has only deepened through the last couple months. Thanks to the funds raised through the challenge and other critical donations, we will be able to offer more support to those who have been impacted by this pandemic.”

Donations can be made to the fund online at cattfoundation.org or mailed to the CRCF office at 301 N. Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY, 14760.  Checks should be made payable to CRCF/COVID-19 Fund. More information can be found at cattfoundation.org/covid-19-response-fund.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF 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 (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).