Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Milliman Fund grants go to 34 charities

The fund established by Olean resident Mildred Milliman at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation (CRCF) now has provided almost $3 million in grants to 34 different charitable organizations since its inception. 
The CRCF board of directors recently approved annual grants from the Mildred Milliman Fund to 34 local and national nonprofit groups for a total of $217,611. 
With this year’s total more than $2.9 million in grants has been awarded to charities personally selected by Ms. Milliman since she established the fund at the Community Foundation in 2001, according to Karen Niemic Buchheit, CRCF executive director. 
Olean General Hospital Foundation, the fund’s lead beneficiary and an organization Ms. Milliman avidly supported during her life, received a grant for $175,612 for 2016. 
This year’s grant will help support the Mildred Milliman Outpatient Surgery Center, according to Karen Fohl, OGH Foundation president. This grant brings the total donated from the Milliman Fund for this facility to $1 million. 
A switchboard operator at Olean General Hospital before retiring in 1975, Ms. Milliman was dedicated to helping OGH provide exceptional care to the residents of the Southern Tier, as this was her way of helping everyone in her community, Ms. Fohl noted. 
“There are no words. Just a stillness in recognition of the magnitude of the generosity of Millie and the foundation. Such a blessing,” Ms. Fohl said.  
Another of Ms. Milliman’s passions included animals and she often lent her support to organizations that cared for them.  
She designated several animal-related organizations as annual grant recipients from her fund, including the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, which received a grant of $4,941 this year. 
“We remain very grateful of this amazing support. I am humbled daily by (this) generosity on behalf of our animals,” said Geri Anne Elsen, SPCA in Cattaraugus County executive director. 
The grant will help the SPCA with both general support of all the animals it cares for as well as its current “Raise the Woof Campaign.”
In 2015 the SPCA cared for 210 dogs and 312 cats while finding homes for 107 dogs and 136 cats, according to Ms. Elsen. Care included appropriate vaccinations, medical care and, in many cases, spaying or neutering prior to adoption.
Ms. Milliman’s decision to set up an endowed fund with the Community Foundation with a $6 million donation continues to make a permanent difference for those 34 local and national charitable organizations, Ms. Buchheit noted.
The other organizations benefiting from grants this year include nonprofits that work to improve animal welfare, provide community services, and fight life-threatening diseases while looking for cures among other causes. They include the following nonprofits:
For animal welfare: Allegany County SPCA, American SPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society of U.S., International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Anti-Vivisection Society, National Wildlife Federation and World Wildlife Foundation.
For community causes: American Red Cross, Camp Good Days & Special Times , CRCF Beautification of Olean Fund, Salvation Army and Town of Olean Fire Department.
For treatment and research for cures of diseases: Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, American Foundation for the Blind, American Heart Association, American Kidney Fund, American Lung Association, Blinded Veterans Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Easter Seals, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Epilepsy Foundation, National MS Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and United Spinal Association.
The CRCF board posthumously recognized Ms. Milliman’s lifetime generosity and philanthropic vision with its Friend of the Foundation award in 2011.