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Kenan Center seeks $45,000 in fund drive

LOCKPORT – For the third consecutive year, the Kenan Center in Lockport is seeking donations toward a fund drive that is meant to match a grant offered to the center by Lockport’s Grigg-Lewis Foundation.

This year’s goal is to raise $45,000 by Jan. 31, according to Elaine Harrigan, Kenan marketing director.

The drive has succeeded the past two years with slightly smaller goals, Harrigan said, and the center received the match from Grigg-Lewis. “That was a big motivator,” she said. “Last year it was $44,000, so we haven’t increased it substantially.”

The goal is slightly more than the actual Grigg-Lewis grant. Foundation Executive Director Chris Smith said the grant this year is $44,100, and the past two years, it was $40,000.

The money raised is not earmarked toward any project or program, but will be used in the Kenan Center’s general budget, Smith added.

F. Patrick Sullivan and his wife, Christine, are the co-chairs of the Annual Appeal, as the drive is officially known.

In a solicitation letter, Patrick Sullivan said his involvement with the Kenan Center began as a youth soccer coach, and he was later invited to join the board of governors. In the early 1990s, he served a term as board president. He continues as a member of the center’s buildings and grounds committee.

Sullivan said many families are introduced to the Kenan through the soccer games on the facility’s large lawn, where several soccer fields are set up each spring and summer.

“But equally important are the cultural and education opportunities that families can enjoy,” Sullivan wrote.

The center offers a Montessori preschool, the new KidQuest summer youth program and a summer recreation program.

The Kenan House features an art gallery with numerous special exhibitions, and the facility is widely known for its big weekends: 100 American Craftsmen in early June, the Holiday Gift Show in November and the Niagara Wine and Beer Tasting Festival in late January.

Smith said the grant to be matched during the annual appeal is not the only money the Grigg-Lewis Foundation sends to the Kenan Center. This past year, there was a special $64,000 grant for a variety of maintenance projects at the center, including roofing and signage.

“They do receive $12,000 a year as part of our ‘core group,’ ” Smith added. “There’s about 19 organizations we give small amounts to every year.”

Harrigan said that during December, another “personalization” letter will be sent out to potential donors.

But donations can be made through the Kenan Center website, kenancenter.org, by clicking on the donate button. All donations are tax-deductible.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com