A Grant Champion for Delaware County
Marjorie Miller has emerged as one of Delaware County’s masters of the grant proposal. “It’s something I find relatively easy to do,” says Miller, town supervisor for the Town of Middletown and a member of the county board of supervisors. “Some people seem to have a terrible fear of grant writing, but I don’t.”
Although she certainly hasn’t hung out a shingle, when an acquaintance in her region asks her help soliciting support for a worthy cause, Miller is ready to oblige. In recent years, her proposals have inspired several Community Foundation grants to organizations in Delaware County.
In 2012, for example, Miller made the case for two grants to help with local recovery from the flood disaster of 2011. One was a $15,000 gift to the Arkville Water District to replace its water pumping facility with a new building outside the flood zone. The other grant, for $2,600, let several towns train code enforcement officers in flood plain management.
At the request of some constituents who help run the Interfaith Council of Greater Margaretville’s Community Pantry, Miller asked for funds to help the pantry comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also make the building safer for elderly volunteers and guests. The Foundation granted the Interfaith Council $2,500 in 2013 to help install a wheelchair ramp and level the ground around the ramp.
Many more people have been using the Community Pantry since it moved to a new building, outside the flood plain, after 2011, Miller says. “So to make it safe is a huge deal.”
Until September 2014, Miller also worked as director of the Bovina Public Library. In that role, she asked the Community Foundation for $6,400 to replace the library’s furnace and water heater. The Community Foundation provided that grant in 2014.
That funding made a tremendous difference to library patrons, Miller says. “It was the first time in the ten years I was at the library that we had hot water.”
More recently, Miller has been talking with staff at the Community Foundation about several potential projects meant to spur economic development in Delaware County. Although these plans are still in the discussion phase, members of the Foundation’s Board know it won’t be long before they’re reading more of Marjorie Miller’s eloquent arguments for initiatives to improve the quality of life for her constituents, neighbors and friends.