East Hill Foundation finds a home at Island Street Complex
Formerly used as a boat yard workshop, the location will now service as offices that will assist in the foundation’s grants administrative work.
The foundation, formed in 1986, is geared toward rewarding grant monies to those charitable organizations in need of financial assistance. Currently separated into three components: Western New York Grants, Family/Board Sponsored Grants and the Sustainable Funding Program, the foundation has made great changes in the lives of many throughout the area.
“The amount of generosity that this family has is just wonderful,” said East Hill Foundation Board Member Julia Spitz.
The Greatbatch Family has made it their goal to embark on numerous endeavors, during which they have donated a significant amount of their own family funds in the form of grant monies to many Western New York charities.
Those in attendance Monday are looking forward to growing the partnership between the foundation and the City of North Tonawanda, and helping as many people as they can.
Vice Presidents of East Hill Foundation Ami Greatbatch expressed how important it is to her to continue living life in a way that allows you to give back to the community.
She feels if the foundation and the community can work together, much can be achieved.
“I am from here [North Tonawanda], my family is from here, and I hope we can make a change for those in the City of North Tonawanda and all over Niagara County,” said Ami.
Three years ago the foundation created a Sustainable Funding Program. The foundation plans to teach the charities how to fish, meaning show them how to properly write a grant application.
“We do more than write a check. This property represents an opportunity to teach grant writing,” said Ami. “I would love to be able to have someone come in and teach The Tonawandas how to do this professionally. We can be a catalyst for change.”
North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt thanked the Greatbatch family for choosing North Tonawanda as the place to conduct their business from and is pleased to bring in a company that will help grow the North Tonawanda economy. He also noted how the hard work of City Attorney Shawn Nickerson and City Clerk Treasurer Scott Kiedrowski made all this possible in North Tonawanda.
The foundation plans to employ five people, which will bring more jobs to North Tonawanda.
In addition, as noted previously this year, the foundation has pledged to donate $50,000 per year to local non-profit charities in the area, which is part of an in lieu of tax payment agreement.
The ground breaking ceremony took place shortly after the press conference, during which Ortt, Ami and New York State Senator George Maziarz were the first to put the shovels in the ground.