The Adirondack Council and Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation presented community grants at the Raquette Lake school. From left, the Adirondack Council’s Blake Neumann, Sue Norris from St. Williams on Long Point, Chris Widley and Aris Bird from the Raquette Lake School Board, Mark Bird from the Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department, and Dick Gentry and Kevin Norris from the board of the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation.
By JOHN SHEEHAN
For the Express
The Adirondack Council and Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation announced that three local groups have been awarded community grants totaling more than $18,000.
The Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Raquette Lake School, and St. Williams on Long Point each received grants as part of a joint program of the Adirondack Council and Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation. The grants are meant to benefit year-round residents of the Raquette Lake area and the environment by increasing public engagement through technological upgrades.
The Raquette Lake School received nearly $9,000 to upgrade audio and video technology to better facilitate classes, meetings, and events, and to “connect and engage on a global level.” The Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department was awarded almost $5,000 for the purchase of a Promethean smart board, which will help with training volunteers, community CPR training, and events. St. Williams on Long Point, a community center, received $4,500 for a portable sound system that will be used for the summer concert series, and loaned to other community groups as needed.
The Council has taken on a new role over the past two years in the Raquette Lake watershed thanks to the support of the Sammon family, donors and Raquette Lake camp owners. By focusing on watershed-scale planning and management, the Council hopes to strengthen the health of not just Adirondack lakes and forests, but the communities of the Adirondack Park as well.
“The villages, towns, hamlets, and communities of the Adirondack Park are vital to its preservation for future generations,” Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said. “These grants will help the people of Raquette Lake maintain their sense of community and public safety, while also offering great community events to year-round residents and visitors.”
“Raquette Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Adirondacks in my opinion,” Gail Morehouse, President of the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation said. “But it’s the community, the caring people, that make it so special and we are happy to be able to contribute to this cause.”
Blake Neumann, Clean Water Advocate for the Adirondack Council said the grants will help the Raquette Lake area by improving connectivity, both inside and outside of the community.
“These funds will be a game-changer for these organizations and the community of Raquette Lake ” Neumann said. “The awardees are receiving funds for technology updates that are long overdue and will help to advance the ultimate goal of public education for the community of Raquette Lake, something that the Adirondack Council, Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation and each of the grant recipients cares deeply about.”
“The Raquette Lake School District will share this equipment with the greater Raquette Lake community to enhance presentations and gatherings,” Raquette Lake Superintendent of Schools Richard Rose said. “On behalf of the school community, I thank the Adirondack Council and Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation for partnering with us to make this technology available to us.”
“This equipment will provide new capabilities to the Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department for communication and training,” Gary Miller, President of the Raquette Lake Volunteer Fire Department said. “As part of new and evolving advancements in EMS education, quality audio/visual connections are essential to taking advantage of remote learning and improving the quality of medical care in our rural community. Additionally, this equipment allows for greater involvement of all members when they are not in the area, allowing for the department to have a greater impact in the community.”
“St. Williams on Long Point fosters community and connections through our summer concert series at our beautifully restored historic chapel and buildings,” Gene Loriat, representing St. Williams on Long Point, said. “Acquiring a high-quality sound system will extend our reach to a larger community of concert goers, as they mingle and enjoy the offerings from the lawn or anchored in their boats; in this season and those to come. Further, the sound system will support the community by amplifying other organizations such as the Raquette Lake Fire Department’s Annual Auction.”
The Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation is a not-for-profit public charity whose mission is to protect, promote and preserve Raquette Lake. The Foundation strives to unite its members in the material understanding of Raquette Lake and the threats that endanger it, so that the entire membership will go forward in carrying out the preservation and conservation of Raquette Lake and its watershed through education, advocacy, and broad-based community involvement.
Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.