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Bequest spread throughout Clifton-Fine community


Money from a recluse for the Clifton-Fine community this year will help feed people, inform them, give them a place to rest, improve the look of a cemetery and create a vision for a historic building.

Robert F. Damoth, Cranberry Lake, died in 2011 at the age of 76, leaving four organizations about $2.5 million through an endowed fund administered by the Adirondack Community Trust. Starting this year, Clifton-Fine Central School, Clifton Community Library, the Wilderness Health Care Foundation of Clifton-Fine Hospital and Cranberry Lake Fire & Rescue will each receive $15,000 annually.

Mr. Damoth left a fifth portion of his bequest unrestricted. The use of that annual grant of $15,000 will be determined by the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corp. at the request of Adirondack Community Trust.

“They said, ‘You know your community best,’” said Christopher L. Westbrook, president of the nonprofit economic development corporation.

Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corp. asked for proposals, receiving requests for more than $27,000. It awarded just under $15,000.

“We were looking for new projects, new ideas to get things off the ground,” Mr. Westbrook said. “We also tried to spread it out over the entire Clifton-Fine area.”

The largest award, $4,430, went to replace a stove used by the food pantry and a free community meal program to prepare a Wednesday night dinner for 85 to 100 people.

The Cranberry Lake Boat Club will receive $3,750 to install a meditation bench at Wanakena Cemetery and to replace benches around Cranberry Lake. The benches will have a plaque honoring Mr. Damoth and Adirondack Community Trust.

Wanakena Historical Association will receive $2,000 to create a kiosk at the Wanakena Walking Bridge that explores the history of the community and the bridge. A second project will move the Wanakena lending library — a waterproof box where books are left and picked up — to public land and improve the structure.

The Oswegatchie Cemetery Association will receive $2,000 to improve the look of the graveyard along Route 3.

Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corp. will receive $1,500 to begin creation of a publication that lists businesses and charitable organizations and points out the benefits of shopping locally. The organization also will receive $320 for advertising in the Bargain Hunter — a community newsletter — copying and related expenses.

The Fine Town Hall Committee will receive $1,000 to hire a consultant to create a strategic vision for the landmark, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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