Rome Community Foundation President David Grow presents the Richard H. McMahon Governance Award to Kelly Walters

 Hundreds gather to celebrate Rome Community Foundation’s 20th anniversary 


The Rome Community Foundation hosted its Community Celebration on Wednesday night at the Capitol Arts Complex, to mark the foundation’s 20th anniversary.

More than 220 attended the event, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management. A reception catered by Chimo’s Catering and Copper City Brewing was held between 5:30 and 6:30 featuring wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages. Entertainment was provided by the Andrea Falvo Trio.

The program kicked off with a video by Rick Lewis of the Capitol, featuring vignettes by several area non-profit leaders telling how the Rome Community Foundation has assisted them. Among the agencies featured included Rome Memorial Hospital, Jervis Public Library, the Rome Art and Community Center, the Capitol Arts Complex and the YMCA of the Tri-Valley.

The video was followed by remarks by Rome Community Foundation President David Grow.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the Foundation’s Richard H. McMahon Governance Award. Thirty-two Rome area non-profits submitted nominations for board members or trustees who made a significant impact to the organization’s success.

Kelly Walters, of the Center for Family Life and Recovery, was the winner of the McMahon Award, and the center received a $5,000 grant from the Foundation. A second McMahon Governance was given to Ed Davis of the Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department. The Fire Department received a check for $1,000 as part of the award.

Special McMahon Governance Awards were awarded to Fred Normand (posthumously) and Rev. Phillip Hearn for their exceptional service to the Rome Community Theatre and Copper City Connection respectively and for serving on the Board of Directors of the Rome Community Foundation. Kristen Stanton, daughter of Fred Normand, accepted the award. Both organizations received checks for $500.

Each of the remaining 28 organizations that submitted nominations will receive $200.

Rick Weltz of WKAL was the emcee for the event. The evening ended with the awarding of door prizes that were donated by Rome Preowned Auto, Vernon Downs Hotel & Casino, Berkshire Bank, Byrne Dairy, Engelbert’s Jewelers and Rome Country Club.

The Rome Community Foundation was established in 1999 to address the capital needs of community non-profits in the Greater Rome area. The Foundation has in excess of $6 million under professional management and the interest from those investments is used to issue grants on a quarterly basis at the discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

In addition to Grow, the Foundation’s officers include: David Engelbert and Lynn Rosen, vice presidents; Robert Ritz, treasurer; and Julie Grow Denton, secretary. Victor Fariello is organization’s executive director.

Donations to the Rome Community Foundation are tax-deductible and can be sent to PO Box 609, Rome, NY 13442-0609. For information on how to donate or to apply for grants, visit

Posted by Heather