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Joe Czajka to Help Communities Obtain Grants

February 10, 2006


[LIBERTY] – The Gerry Foundation has named Joseph Czajka as Director of Community Grants for the Sullivan Renaissance Program.  He will begin work at the end of the month.


Czajka will assist Sullivan County communities in obtaining grants for community development and revitalization projects.  His responsibilities will also include grant writing for the Sullivan Renaissance program in general, serving on the Steering Committee, and overseeing the new municipal and seasonal matching grant programs.


A graduate of SUNY Cortland and a Certified Housing Development Finance Professional, Czajka comes from the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Community Development, where he served as Community Development & Grants Supervisor for five years.


He has been involved in community development and housing for over 17 years, including: director for development of Rural Opportunities, Inc. for the Hudson Valley region; neighborhood mortgage officer for Community Preservation Corp.; and various other government positions in housing, planning, grant writing and community development. 


In 1999, Czajka created a Neighborhood Preservation Corporation in the City of Newburgh to operate programs for economically disenfranchised families.  In the past 15 years he has written, secured and administered millions of dollars in NYS and federal community development funding.


Czajka will be introduced at the 10th Annual Winter Forum and Expo on Saturday, February 11 at the CVI Center in Ferndale.  Registration and expo exhibits begin at 7:45 a.m. with a coffee bar and light breakfast available.  Culinary students from the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center will help prepare and serve. 


The forum and expo will bloom with flowers and exhibits showcasing businesses and volunteer organizations helpful to Sullivan Renaissance communities.  Details of the Sullivan Renaissance 2006 grant program will be announced and applications will be available. 


George L Cooke, Sullivan County Clerk and long-time organizer of the countywide litter pluck program, will deliver the keynote address.  Six break-out sessions are designed to provide tools for volunteers to take back to their own communities. 


Nine individuals, businesses and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to improving the appearance of Sullivan County will be presented with “Sullivan First Achievement Awards.”


The forum also features a poster contest with entries from students at Monticello High School and BOCES.  Attendees will select the winning posters that increase awareness of the cleanup efforts going on in Sullivan County and help inspire the public to participate. 


Sullivan Renaissance is designed to provide communities with seed money to compete in a beautification contest, while building a sense of pride and spirit in the community.  It has funded more than 165 projects in all 6 villages and 15 towns in Sullivan County during the last five years.  Sullivan Renaissance is a program of the Beaverkill Foundation with support from the Gerry Foundation. 


Space is limited, pre-registration is necessary.  For more information, call 845-295-2445.  Representatives of Sullivan Renaissance are available to visit a community to explain the program.