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Town-Gown Grants Reach $1 Million to Local Organizations


The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund recently distributed a record $157,000 in grants to 14 non-profit and public safety organizations serving the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. [Full list follows]

The fund has now awarded $1 million since grants were first made in 2001.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of the Town-Gown Fund,” said Hamilton President David Wippman, who chairs the committee of community leaders who meet regularly to select grant recipients. “The fund was created to award grants in perpetuity, and as the value of the endowment has grown, so too has the investment in the health and vitality of our community. Over time, these grants have enhanced nearly every aspect of life in the village and town.”

It is deeply satisfying to support organizations that do so much to help make Clinton such a vibrant and desirable community in which to live and work.

Wippman said $10,000 was awarded to five organizations when grants were first made in 2001, but the overall value of the awards has averaged about $75,000 in each of the past five years. (The Town-Gown Fund suspended grant-making activity in 2020 due to the pandemic, but carried over those funds to account for the record total disbursed in 2021.)

“It is deeply satisfying to support organizations that do so much to help make Clinton such a vibrant and desirable community in which to live and work,” Wippman added.

The Clinton Central School (CCS) District has been the largest beneficiary of Town-Gown grants, with 19 awards totaling more than $232,000. That includes $23,550 this year for polycarbonate barriers, instrumental band PPE, and technology upgrades to high school science classrooms. CCS also received the largest Town-Gown grant ever, $25,000 in 2014 to create a modern language learning lab. An additional $112,000 has been awarded to the Clinton Central School District Foundation, which supports programs that enhance student education in the district.

“Hamilton College has been our greatest community partner when it comes to giving our students, families, teachers, and education leaders the opportunity to maximize their potential,” said Clinton School Superintendent Stephen Grimm. “One of the many ways they do this is through the grants provided by the Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund, which has provided us directly and indirectly nearly $350,000 of funding, and has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of our students and our ability to provide the excellent education for which we are known.”

The Clinton Fire Department has received 18 awards, totaling $135,597, including a $20,000 grant this year to upgrade its emergency communications equipment.

“Since the inception of the Town-Gown Fund, Clinton Fire Department as a recipient has been able to purchase equipment that would normally have depleted our operating budget,” said Chief Brad Dunda. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity that Hamilton College continues to have towards local community organizations year after year.”

The Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund was created in 2001 by anonymous donors to foster goodwill and communication among the College and residents of the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton. Since its founding, the endowed fund has received $1.2 million in gifts.

Each year, the income earned from investing those donations is used to make grants to organizations in the Town of Kirkland. As stipulated in the agreement that established the fund, grants can only be made to organizations and agencies serving the Town of Kirkland and the Village of Clinton, with a primary focus on education.

Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund 2021 Grants*

  • Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps
    Reimburse expenses for PPE masks in 2020: $3,745
  • Clinton A Better Chance
    Replace household furniture: $5,000
  • Clinton Central School District
    Instrumental band PPE, High School Science Technology Upgrade, and polycarbonate barriers: $23,550
  • Clinton Central School District Foundation
    Funding to enhance and expand supportive programs that address student academic, social, and emotional gaps such as the elementary school bridge program: $15,700
  • Clinton Early Learning Center
    Replace furniture and play equipment: $10,000
  • Clinton Fire Department
    Obligatory upgrades to emergency communications equipment: $20,000
  • Clinton Youth Foundation (Boynton Pool)
    Non-Slip Floor/Deck Mats and an ADA-Compliant Pool Lift: $4,200
  • Kirkland Art Center
    Support a capital campaign to replace the roof and fund a new teaching kitchen:  $20,000
  • Kirkland Police Department
    New computer and printer: $1,500
  • Kirkland Town Library
    Unfunded and increased costs for an outdoor deck and permanent set-up for curbside service: $8,500
  • Kirkland Trails
    Purchase crushed stone to complete the final one-mile section of the trail that runs north from Dugway Road to the intersection of Route 12B and 233: $20,105
  • St. James Church Day School
    Create an updated current library with more books that include diverse and mixed cultural characters and stories for preschoolers: $1,000
  • The Country Pantry
    For general operations: $5,000

*In addition, in 2021, the Town-Gown Fund hired a grant writer to work with three organizations to identify funding opportunities and then prepare and submit proposals for large grants. Those organizations include The Clinton Youth Foundation (Boynton Pool), Kirkland Trails, and the Village of Clinton.

Facts about the Hamilton College Town-Gown Fund

  • Year Established: 2001
  • Number of Years Making Grants: 19 (grant-making was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic
  • Total Value of Gifts Received for the Fund: $1,227,604
  • Market Value of Fund (as of March 31, 2021): $2,232,693
  • Unique donors to the Fund: 466 have made at least one gift (includes individuals, and corporations and foundations)
  • Value of Grants Awarded to Local Organizations: $1,000,000
  • Number of Organizations that have received Town-Gown Grants: 24
  • Number of Grants Awarded: 154

Town-Gown Committee Members

  • Fran Alteri, Alteri’s Restaurant
  • Mike Debraggio, Hamilton College AVP for Communications, ex officio
  • Carrie Burns Evans, Clinton Resident and Former Village Trustee
  • Corrine Gachowski ’81, Krizia Martin Fine Apparel and Giftware
  • Amy Owens Goodfriend ’82, Hamilton College Trustee (Clinton native)
  • Stephen Grimm, Clinton Central School District Superintendent
  • George Joseph, North Star Orchards and Oneida Country Legislator
  • Tara McKee, Hamilton College Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Deli Rogers, Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service
  • Dick Tantillo, Hamilton College Senior Philanthropic Advisor, ex officio
  • David Wippman, Hamilton College President, chair
  • Jack Withiam, Hamilton College Trustee

Contact Information


Media Relations Office

198 College Hill Road 
Clinton, NY 13323
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