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Higgins announces NFMMCenter and Read to Succeed awarded $103K in grants


Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that two Western New York organizations were selected for September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance Grant Awards totaling more than $103,000 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The purpose of the grants is to encourage volunteering as a tribute to victims, survivors, and those who served in response to the attacks on 9/11.

The Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC) was awarded a grant of $31,500 to organize over 4,000 volunteers over a five day span to plan, promote and participate in September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance activities throughout Niagara County. Those activities include events at veterans’ parks in Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and Newfane, post cards that will be displayed in Niagara Falls State Park, a 5K remembrance run for emergency first responders will be held in Lewiston, a community forum on disaster planning, and a candle light night walk in collaboration with Lockport High School.

“We consider it an honor to pay tribute to the victims, survivors and all who served in response to the 9/11 – many of whom were volunteers themselves -- by organizing and encouraging thousands of Niagara County residents to participate in September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance activities,” said Memorial Medical Center President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “We are most grateful to the Corporation for National and Community Service awards for this generous award in support of those volunteer efforts.”

The second grant, for $72,094, was awarded to Read to Succeed Buffalo and will train 100 volunteers next year for service as literacy tutors. Once trained, they will serve in 100 pre-K to third grade classrooms helping bridge the low-income achievement gap by supporting students with literacy coaching.

“The activities and time invested by the dedicated RTSB volunteers, who will be trained through this investment, truly reflect the principles upon which the Day of Service & Remembrance is predicated” said Anne Ryan, Executive Director of Read to Succeed Buffalo.  “In the words of President Barack Obama in his Proclamation on September 10, 2009 declaring the National Day of Service & Remembrance: ‘September 11 reminds us that our fate as individuals is tied to that of our Nation. Our democracy is strengthened when we uphold the freedoms upon which our Nation was built: equality, justice, liberty, and democracy. These values exemplify the patriotism and sacrifice we commemorate today.’

However, there can be no ‘equality, justice, liberty, or democracy’ without an educated electorate.”  Ryan continued. “The goals and objectives of Experience Corps Volunteer Literacy Tutors are intricately tied to a future with a civically engaged electorate, brought up in a spirit of unity, volunteerism, compassion and high academic expectations for all; a spirit that is reflected by the Day of Service & Remembrance.”

Congressman Higgins said: “Organizing volunteer action that benefits our community is a great way to pay tribute to the victims, survivors, and first responders of 9/11, and the grants awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service will help us do that here in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.”

Higgins recently joined Niagara University’s Levesque Institute and City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster in hosting an annual Volunteer Fair and Volunteer Hall of Fame award ceremony, encouraging civic engagement and honoring those who serve in the Niagara Falls community. Congressman Higgins’ Western New York district received two of six total CNCS National Days of Service grants awarded in New York State.

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