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21st Century Fund Showcases 29 Projects

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Competition for a $100,000 grant begins Monday night in Buffalo. This year, 29 applicants are vying for the Community Foundation's 21st Century Fund cash award.

A wide range of 21st Century Fund candidates will showcase their proposed projects. They range from neighborhood revitalization and social needs to medicine. But it will also include exhibits on arts, music and tourism.

This is the fourth year for the 21st Century Fund. Each year more and more applicants line up for a chance to win the funding. In fact, Community Foundation Vice President Richard Tobe says this is the most applicants they've received. He says this event has produced "terrific applications."

"Each year it gets better. The competition becomes more intense. I think the applicants become superior," Tobe said. "The decision making becomes harder and harder. We are very proud of what we have helped to create and what the non-profit community has created."

Monday night, each applicant will explain their project to the 21st Century Fund members and invited guests at a "trade-fair" at the Rich Renaissance. Tobe says there is so much diversity in this year's proposed projects.

"For the first time we have seen some for major rehabilitation of wildlife. That's a new subject areas," Tobe said. "And I think we are seeing some very interesting proposals for community improvement."

A short-list of finalists will be revealed early next year and the winner will be announced in March. The 21st Century Fund has supported some memorable projects including Art on Wheels and restoration of the Darwin Martin House.