In a prime example of collaboration leading to success, state Rep. Frank Burns is announcing $55,000 in state grants to fund four projects, made possible through his partnership with the Johnstown-based 1889 Foundation.

Burns, D-Cambria, said since these small-scale projects don’t always qualify for other state aid, the situation required a persistent and creative approach that took more than a year and included $20,000 in additional help from the foundation.

“Because we worked together for the common good, these four projects will not meet the fate of falling between the funding cracks,” Burns said. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. In this case, we had the collective will – and the 1889 Foundation was instrumental in helping find a way.”

Burns listed the grant recipients, amounts and projects as:

  • Keystone Regional Fire & Rescue Department — $21,598 for purchase of a new generator for its fire hall (pictured. Susan Mann, 1889 president, is third from left).
  • Reade Township — $18,120 for recreation area fencing.
  • Patton Park — $9,440 for a security system for its park and swimming pool.
  • Cresson Lions Club — $5,842 for a swimming pool water purification/chemical system.

Susan M. Mann, 1889 Foundation president, whose organization supports innovative programs and initiatives that improve and transform the health and wellness of the region, said its members were glad to partner with Burns to secure funds for these community organizations in northern Cambria County.

“Because we’ve developed a pretty good relationship with Representative Burns, he understands the 1889 Foundation and our mission, and felt it was a good fit for us,” Mann said. “He was able to connect those projects with the right areas of funding. He was really the connection that these small organizations needed.”

Mann said that after Burns contacted them about the need, the foundation agreed to be the required grant applicant, serving as an intermediary to disburse the funds, and also agreed to contribute $5,000 for each of the four projects – providing extra dollars to get them underway.

“This was a true partnership between local dollars and state dollars being able to make these projects happen for these smaller communities that sometimes don’t get a chance to get some of these grant funds,” Mann said, noting, “These grants probably wouldn’t have happened without the two of us working together.”