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Stewart’s Holiday Match program awards nearly $100,000 to north country agencies

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The Stewart’s Shops’ Holiday Match program has awarded nearly $100,000 to agencies in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, many of which are focused on helping children.

Grant awards totaled $42,580 for Jefferson County, $17,650 for Lewis County and $34,180 for St. Lawrence County.

A total of $1.34 million in grants was awarded for the 2012 season.

“With the way things are going and receiving cuts in state funding, any donations we get we have to diversify,” said Thomas P. Luckie, executive director of the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club.

The club received a $2,500 grant, which will help pay for the club’s homework program, special events and character development programs.

Mr. Luckie said the club sees about 130 children per day during its peak season, which lasts from October to April. Many children who go to the club consider it their “home away from home,” he said.

At the Jefferson Community College Foundation, Director Christine M. Rizzo said the foundation’s $1,000 grant will be used toward scholarships for the college’s Education Demonstrating Growth and Excellence, or EDGE, program.

The two-year college’s program allows high school students to take college courses for credit during the school day.

Ms. Rizzo said the foundation matched that, and $2,000 now is available for scholarships.

Meanwhile, a $4,750 grant will support the Watertown Urban Mission’s Critical Needs Program.

“The Stewart’s Foundation’s generous match program does so much good in the community, and this grant to Critical Needs will impact the lives of so many neighbors who need help meeting the most basic of needs,” said Andrew G. Mangione, Watertown Urban Mission director of development.

Mountain View Prevention Services, Lowville, received a $2,500 grant to help offset the cost of the agency’s summer theater programs, according to executive director Arlene S. Hall.

According to a Stewart’s news release, the program is made possible when Stewart’s matches donations received from customers from Thanksgiving to Christmas. All funds raised in north country communities stay in the north country.

Since 1986, the program has raised more than $17 million.

A complete list of the 2012 Holiday Match program recipients is on Stewart’s website, www.stewartsshops.com.

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