WATERTOWN, NY (WWTI) – A pair of Community Fund scholarships for Theresa totaling $5,340 will support a new outdoor recreation challenge and provide scholarships for area youth to attend 4-H Wabasso Camp this summer.

The Community Fund for Theresa is an ongoing grant-making fund of the Northern New York Community Foundation that will forever support programs, activities, and initiatives aimed at advancing the overall well-being of Theresa’s community. Longtime Theresa residents Russell I. and Mary Wilcox established the Family Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation in 2020 to help strengthen the quality of life in their community.

Indian River Lakes Conservancy is developing “The Theresa Beast Challenge” to promote community pride in local natural resources while strengthening regional businesses and tourism. The year-long initiative asks participants to complete a series of recreational activities that include kayaking on eight local lakes, hiking and biking on several local trails and bridges, overnight camping and quad biking.

The challenge is designed to last multiple weekends, encouraging visitors to return multiple times to the greater Theresa and Indian River lakes area throughout the year. A grant of $3,465 will help create a map and brochures of the Theresa area to build community image and promote local businesses.

“The availability of funds specific to a geographic area creates special opportunities for organizations serving that region. In its first year, these grants are making a difference in a hyper-local and personal way that reflects the donors’ affection for their hometown,” said Rande Richardson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Both are making meaningful investments in Theresa’s community, and the fund will continue to support other programs, projects and initiatives in the future.”

A $1,925 grant to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County will support full scholarships for up to five youth from the Indian River Lakes area of ​​Jefferson County to attend the 4-H Wabasso Camp in the town of Theresa. Cornell Cooperative Extension owns and operates the residential youth camp, which is the only one of its kind in Jefferson County. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities and hands-on activities using research-based 4-H programs in a safe and fun camp setting in the natural environment.

These two scholarships are the first that the Community Fund for Theresa has awarded. A review committee of three citizens representing the greater Theresa community evaluated the grant proposals and recommended them for approval to the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Applications for Theresa’s Community Fund 2023 funding will be accepted this fall and award decisions will be made next spring. Grant support is available to qualifying organizations whose missions and efforts align with the charitable goals of the fund.