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Kaleigh Wilday Fund supports youth causes, scholarships in Ellicottville, Cuba, more in 2021

Tue, Dec 14th 2021 07:00 am
Skip Wilday (center) with Nannen Arboretum Society board members and advocates Nan Miller (left) and Pat Kerl (right).
Skip Wilday (center) with Nannen Arboretum Society board members and advocates Nan Miller (left) and Pat Kerl (right).

Again this year, the annual grants made from the Kaleigh Wilday Endowment Fund include several Ellicottville-based organizations, honoring the outpouring of love and support that the Wilday family has received from the Ellicottville community since the establishment of the Kaleigh Wilday Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.


Skip and Greta Wilday, now Ellicottville residents, have long had deep family ties that community.


As avid skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Wilday family spend much of the winter months in Ellicottville. That time led to lasting friendships and community ties.


When Skip and Greta’s daughter, Kaleigh, passed away tragically in 2002 and they decided to establish the Kaleigh Wilday Endowment Fund in her memory, the Wildays saw and felt the love that their friends in Ellicottville showed in supporting the fund.

Over the years, the Wilday Fund has provided over $145,000 in grants that support youth development programming and activities for youth as well as scholarships for area students, in Kaleigh’s memory.

Grants are made each year on or around November 10, Kaleigh’s birthday.

This year’s grants included four grants to Ellicottville-based organizations. The Ellicottville Great Valley Recreational Trail Fund, Ellicottville Memorial Library and Ellicottville Skate Park Fund each received $1,000.  The Ellicottville Memorial Library grant was made in memory of Edna Northrup. The Nannen Arboretum Society received $500.

The Ellicottville/Great Valley Recreational Trail Fund at CRCF supports the efforts to build a recreational trail that will connect locations in Ellicottville and Great Valley. The first section of the trail was cleared in 2019.

The Ellicottville Skate Park Fund, also managed by CRCF, supports fundraising efforts to build and maintain a large, concrete skate park in Ellicottville. Recently, the Ellicottville Skatepark Fund hit its fundraising goal of $250,000, but the group is continuing its fundraising efforts to ensure that the skatepark built is the best it can be for area residents.

The Nannen Arboretum provides home garden and natural resource education and an opportunity for nature appreciation and leisure for Ellicottville residents.

Other grants this year, each for $1,000, include:

  • Cuba-Rushford PTA
  • Cuba-Rushford Central School Alaska Trip Fund (CRCS Outdoors program)
  • Cuba Circulating Library for youth programs,
  • Kaleigh Wilday Every Kid Deserves a Y Fund at the YMCA of the Twin Tiers
  • Olean General Hospital Foundation
  • Operation Warm Hearts
  • Cattaraugus Gives Fund for prizes for organizations supporting youth causes

This year’s grants total $10,500.

The fund also supports two annual scholarships: the Kaleigh Wilday Scholar Athlete Award for a Cuba-Rushford Central School graduating senior who has played on a scholar-athlete team and an annual $1,000 scholarship for a Cuba-Rushford graduate attending Jamestown Community College.

“We are so grateful to be able to give back to the areas of Kaleigh’s life that were important to her,” said Skip Wilday. “It is wonderful to still be able to keep her spirit alive in the Ellicottville area and surrounding communities.”

“Thanks to the generosity of all of the donors over the years we are able to continue to grow on the grants of the past and continue to support causes for our youth,” he concluded.

Donations can be made to the Kaleigh Wilday Endowment Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Olean, NY 14760 or online at cattfoundation.org.

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 [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).