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$300,000 Grant to Columbia-Greene Community College Pushes Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation Past $10,000,000 Mark

March 12, 2014

(Hudson NY)

The Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation has awarded more than $10 million in grants since it was established, almost all that money benefiting organizations, activities, and social safety nets in Columbia County.

 The $10 million threshold comes as the foundation prepares to enter its 15th year of operation.

 A $300,000 grant to the Columbia-Greene Community Foundation carried HRBT Foundation over its $10 million grant-making milestone.

 That grant supports Columbia-Greene Community College as it upgrades the campus learning environment. It will help enable improvements to the college’s wireless network, create a traveling laptop program with lab media upgrades and enhance the building’s security systems.   

 Joan Koweek, Executive Director of the Columbia-Greene Community Foundation remarked, “We at Columbia-Greene Community College thank all the Board members for their many years of unfailing support of our mission to provide excellent and accessible higher education experience for our local citizens.”

 Major beneficiaries of the HRBT Foundation’s work over its history include

--Columbia Memorial Hospital,including the Hudson River Bank &Trust Foundation office building at the hospital;

--The Community College, with support focused on scholarships and child care;

--Many organizations within the City of Hudson, where the Foundation has a strong consistent record of supporting youth, and more recently seniors, along with Hudson City School District activities. 

--Regional organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Regional Food Bank, among many others, for programs that deliver services in Columbia County;

--The Columbia County Agricultural Society, toward the annual Columbia County Fair, the county’s biggest event;

--Local libraries, which across-the-board have received funds every year of the Foundation’s existence;

--Numerous organizations that deliver services helping to strengthen community ties, everything from meeting emergency heating oil costs to supporting community parks and recreation to hospice programs;

--A wide roster of historic and arts organizations and activities that add to the cultural vitality of the area;

--Grassroots community folks looking for funds to improve the localities where they live.

 The Foundation has provided seed money for creative partnerships between government and private organizations; for use of tele-devices to deliver a higher level of home health care; and for start-ups such as Columbia County Bounty.

 All the Foundation’s grants go to non-profit organizations.

 While the HRBT Foundation’s annual grant amounts fluctuate with the performance of its investments, the board reported its expectation that the funding stream continues robust enough to repeat if not exceed another $10 million in 15 years.

 “It’s gratifying to know that whether the grants we make are large or small, in the end they invariably touch and improve the lives of individual people, our neighbors,” said Marilyn Herrington, president of the Foundation board.

 The Foundation was formed in July 1998, when Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. became a public company, with a mission to improve the community in which the bank conducted its business.  When Hudson River Bank & Trust was later purchased by First Niagara, the HRBT Foundation remained unchanged in its focus of supporting charitable causes and community development activities in Columbia County.  The original directors still serve on the Foundation board and in addition to Marilyn Herrington include Carl Florio, Sid Richter, Joe Phelan, Tony Jones and Holly Rappleyea. 

 While the Foundation is open to considering any worthy project that meets its basic guidelines, it concentrates grant-making in the following areas:  Health Care,Community Development, Education and Youth, Arts and Culture, Historic Preservation and Environmental Protection.

For more information about the Foundation and the application process, please visit

CGCC Press Release

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