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Wolfinger Family Fund bolsters local school districts

Thu, May 2nd 2024 11:00 am

The Wolfinger Family Donor Advised Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation recently provided $4,607 in grants to area school districts to provide for special projects and educational enrichment programming.

The Wolfinger Family Fund was established in 2019 by Connie and Harold “Sandy” Wolfinger to provide annual support for educational programming and enrichment opportunities for area students.

The Smethport Area School District received $1,000: $500 each for the Smethport DECA Field Trip Fund and the PA Elk Restoration Unit and Wildlife Comparative Anatomy & Classification.

The DECA Field Trip Fund allowed Smethport students to travel to the Pennsylvania State Career Development Conference in Hershey, PA in February. These students were awarded the opportunity to compete among 3,500 students and grow in their chosen areas of business, entrepreneurship and hospitality.

The PA Elk Restoration Unit and Wildlife Comparative Anatomy & Classification aims to teach students in grades 9 through 12 about watersheds, streams, fish species, PA mammals, ecosystems, fishing, hunting and the PA Game Commission. Additional funds for this project will go towards a trip to the Elk County visitors center, where there is an educational program related to the reintroduction of elk into Pennsylvania.

Ellicottville Central School received $650 for their Budding Artists project, as well as $362 for the Decodable Readers for Young Learners project.

The Budding Artists project purchased materials for a newly developed, full day pre-k classroom. The materials will be used to help young artists strengthen their fine motor skills, as well as build creativity and imagination.

The Decodable Readers for Young Learners project purchased texts for 2nd grade teacher Leah Farnum’s classroom “that pique student interest in reading while also being decodable and accessible to all students in the classroom.”

“It is a joy to watch young learners get hooked on a book series and be unable to put it down,” said Farnum. “This opportunity would not otherwise have been available to my seven- and eight-year olds without [CRCF and the Wolfingers’] support.”

Coudersport Area School District also received two grants: $500 for the Challenger Learning Center Trip and $500 for CO2 Laser Engraving and CNC Project Consumables.

On the Challenger Learning Center field trip, students can explore 21st century occupations and science standards through space-themed, STEAM-based activities while developing their communication and teamwork skills.

The CO2 Laser Engraving and CNC Project Consumables will benefit Coudersport students in grades 7 through 12 by providing them with consumables to create and manufacture projects in the STEM Lab, sports teams, clubs and the community.

Northern Potter School District received $1,000 for the Building Connections Around the World project.

The Building Connections Around the World project used the grant to purchase Lego sets of famous landmarks around the globe. This initiative aims to increase students’ interest in world travel by building replicas of landmarks themselves.

The fund also provided a $1,180.25 grant to Belvidere High School in Belvidere, NJ for the purchase of agricultural mechanics welding safety equipment.

Belvidere High School holds a special place in the hearts of the Wolfingers.

Sandy’s mother, Dorothy Wolfinger, and sister, Alice Wilhelm, had lived in Belvidere their entire lives and attended school there from kindergarten to grade twelve. Alice also taught kindergarten at Belvidere for many years. Sandy and his siblings, Ray, Carol, and Kirk Wolfinger, attended Belvidere from kindergarten forward.

Donations can be made to the Wolfinger Family Donor Advised 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).