The mission of ONYA is to inspire and advance philanthropy that funds non-profit programs to foster personal growth and economic self-sufficiency among women and girls throughout Ontario and Yates Counties.
How ONYA’s Mission is realized:
By awarding grants to agencies and organizations for programs which address education, intervention, legal assistance and other relevant solutions.
By creating awareness through specific programs within the communities we serve.
By mentoring girls through specialized events such as “Voices of Experience”.
By building an endowment to fund grants and awareness efforts.
At ONYA, Ontario/Yates Fund for Women and Girls, we are committed to help women and girls become independent and self-sufficient. Explore our website to learn more about all that we’re doing to make a change.
We are a private, non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for programs that meet this mission. The Ontario/Yates Fund for Women and Girls (ONYA) is a Donor Advised Fund of the Finger Lakes Area Community Endowment (FLACE), a 501(c)(3) foundation.
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Save the Dates in 2020:
Sunday, 10/4/2020, at Canandaigua Yacht Club
Fundraiser a Success!
ONYA's fundraiser, held on September 22, 2019, at the Canandaigua Yacht Club, was a success by all measures - fun, delicious, great raffles and silent auction items were taken home, and most importantly with your help, we raised funds to help women and girls in Ontario and Yates Counties!
Thank you to our sponsors, donors and participants!!
Bud To Bloom a Success - Thank you!
The Board of Directors of the Ontario/Yates Fund for Women and Girls (ONYA) would like to thank the 183 attendees and supporters of our 7th annual Bud to Bloom luncheon at Sonnenberg Gardens on June 1, 2019. The work we do to further economic self-sufficiency for women and girls in our two counties would not be possible without your generosity. We extend a special thank you to our honorary co-chairs, Deborah Wilbur and Jenny Goodemote.
Those attending the luncheon were treated to a presentation from Nancy Wiley, an internationally acclaimed artist who maintains a studio and shop, True Lily, in downtown Canandaigua.
It is always heartening to see how our community responds when there is a need. Thank you to everyone who attended Bud to Bloom, and to those who continue to support our efforts.
A big thank you to Peter Blackwood, who took all of the lovely photos at the Bud to Bloom luncheon. The photos are available at no charge at: ONYA Bud to Bloom 2019 Event Photos
Types of Programs That ONYA Funds
Strengthening Our Community
Since 2003, ONYA has awarded over $311,000 to
30 different agencies, for 83 programs, that have impacted the lives of over 6,000 women and girls in Ontario and Yates Counties.
Be the Change
A Great Deed
It takes tremendous community support to achieve our goals, and volunteers are at the very heart of our mission. Whether you want to help plan our next event, join one of our committees or the board of directors, or you would simply like to make a monetary contribution to ONYA, get in touch today and see how you can start working towards a better tomorrow.
Help Us Soar
Support ONYA with a donation.
Our organization relies heavily on the generosity and involvement of people like you, with every contribution going towards ONYA grants to help fund programs for women and girls in Ontario and Yates counties.
Make A True Change
Support our efforts by volunteering to help with an event or a committee (Marketing/Communications, Grant Making, Donations/Fundraising, Finance, Bud to Bloom) or the Board of Directors.
Our organization relies heavily on the involvement of people like you. Won't you help us help others in our community.
Spreading the Word
Get the Word Out
Help spread the word to your family, friends, and organizations about ONYA and the good it does in our community.
Like us on Facebook!
Support our efforts any way you can - all contributions are appreciated. Contact us for more specifics about getting involved.
Would you like to get involved? There are many ways of contributing to our causes at ONYA - Ontario/Yates Fund for Women and Girls.
The Ontario Yates Fund for Women (ONYA) is seeking proposals from not for profit 501 (c)(3) organizations for programs serving women and girls in Ontario and Yates Counties. The Fund is an independent fund-raising and grant making community organization which funds programs that have a positive impact on the economic and social status of women and girls.
All grant requests received will be screened for completeness and to assure that they meet ONYA’s criteria; a site visit by an ONYA Grant Committee representative may also be requested prior to the awarding of the grants. Grant requests must be received by September 1st of any year for consideration for that year’s grant cycle. Grants will be awarded in the fall for the following year’s program funding. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of our review by October 1st.
The 2019 application period (for 2020 grants) is now closed.
2020 ONYA Grants
Since its inception, ONYA has awarded over $336,000 to 31 agencies, for 86 programs, that have impacted the lives of over 7,000 women and girls in Ontario and Yates Counties.
As ONYA marks its 20th year of service, our Board of Directors is proud to announce the grant recipients for 2020. ONYA’s mission is to inspire and advance philanthropy to foster personal and economic self-sufficiency among women and girls in Ontario and Yates counties. Each year ONYA gives grants to non-profit groups that support this mission. The seven recipients selected for 2020 were chosen from a group of twelve submissions.
Our generous donors have enabled us to fund the following programs this year:
Big Brothers Big Sisters - will recruit, train and match adult female mentors with at-risk, underserved girls to help support their educational success and personal growth through one-on-one relationships.
Child & Family Resource Center - will provide trauma-based parenting classes to incarcerated mothers and mothers-to-be and will provide support to the grandmothers taking care of their children.
Family Hope Center - will offer a program called Courageous Beauty, a weekly support group for girls aged 11 to 18. It will teach them about healthy relationships, sexual risk avoidance, and self-worth. Its goal is to reduce or eliminate risky behaviors.
Geneva Reads - will provide books and establish book clubs and other programs to introduce Latino women and their daughters to the importance and pleasure of reading. The goal of this program is to increase bilingual home libraries and reading proficiency in the Hispanic community.
Habitat for Humanity - will use its grant to support the Women Build program, which recruits, educates, and empowers women to build and advocate for affordable housing, while increasing their own skills and self-sufficiency.
Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes - will incorporate a Trauma-Informed Yoga for Youth program into its support groups. This will help abused teen girls improve their focus, reduce stress, and self-regulate their behaviors.
The Living Well - will provide Back to School Bags that include personal hygiene supplies to help young women be healthier and more self-confident.
Summary 2019 Final Grant Reports
Child & Family Resource Center: Family Resiliency Project
35 moms (all residing at the Ontario County Jail) and 2 grandmothers (one from Geneva and one from Canandaigua) participated in this program which taught them how to help their children self-regulate while also taking care of themselves in the process. 24 sessions were held with the moms but due to the low attendance by grandmothers, only 6 sessions were held with them.
Comments from an incarcerated mother:
"It's been very nice to have Dawn teach me these skill lessons and to
catch up on things. It's good to see a familiar face and helps when
going through some difficult times of my own. I'm looking forward to
working at practicing the "Bounce" and "FLIP IT!" strategies first hand
with my children, as often as possible plus as sooner than later, that
I'll be "home" to do so....."
Comments from a grandmother caring for grandchildren:
"I have tried some things I learned on grandson and it has helped out."
Family Hope Center: Courageous Beauty
There were 83 Courageous Beauty groups hosted in 2019 with 361 girls participating – 119 between the ages of 11-15 and 242 between the ages of 15-19. Participants indicated that they enjoy talking about healthy relationships and self-worth topics and are finding the information relevant and helpful in building self-confidence and managing relationships in their lives. Some comments from participants:
“Courageous Beauty is a safe place for me. It’s somewhere I can go to have deep conversations. I have loved the topics we have talked about. It has really helped me find my opinions on things.”
“A fun and welcoming place for conversation on prevalent topics and open discussion among peers.”
“Courageous Beauty is a blessing to my life. It has provided a chance for me to grow and make strong friendships. I have found healthy support and guidance from loving individuals. Our discussions are highly informative and easy to engage in. I hate to think of what I would’ve become without this group.”
Geneva Reads: Book Distribution & Reading Advocacy
Geneva Reads is a primary source of children’s books – especially bilingual books – for the city’s low-income population. In 2019, 375 children in grades K-6 registered for summer school and 3,750 books were distributed there. 2,078 books were distributed through Geneva Reads at WIC program.
Free Summer Slide Book Fair.
Book Distribution/Encouraging Parents to Read Aloud, included the ongoing programs: Healthy Readers (book distribution at well -child visits) and the annual Welcome to Kindergarten book given at kindergarten screening, where our director and volunteers talk to moms about the importance of reading to children and setting an example by reading themselves; Ready to Read, through which children receive 20 books a year while at Head Start, Agri-Business Child Development Center or Universal Pre-K.
Early Book Distribution, through: Geneva Reads at WIC (where children choose books, and moms can get advice on fitting reading into their schedule and how to have fun with it); Early Intervention, through which books and educational toys are provided, the tools that help moms give their children the best start; Teen Moms book and toy distribution, which included conversations with the expectant mothers.
Increased Access, through: 13 free bookshelves around the city; Random Acts for Reading; Project Sweet Sleep, through which we provide a book, a blanket, a bag and a stuffed buddy for each homeless child served by Family Promise of Ontario County; participation in the local Farmers’ Market, Downtown Business Improvement District’s Cruisin’ Night, FLCC’s STEAM camp, Geneva Historical Society’s biannual Farm Heritage Day, Geneva City Recreation Department’s Egg Hunt and Touch a Truck events, Lyceum Heights Neighborhood’s Halloween Pumpkin Roll, our annual Book Fest, YMCA’s annual Health Day.
“We use much less TV. My children learn English. We enjoyed the bilingual books best.”
“(My son) really wants to be read to. His brother loves reading to him and is a 2nd grader. He has learned a lot from the books.”
“Bedtime reading is a regular occurrence in our household. Having educational and engaging books are an asset to my children’s development.”
“Geneva Reads has provided many books in our home that our children love to read. My daughter has struggled with speech the books have helped tremendously!”
The Partnership: Community Awareness of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
A digital campaign called “Baby Safe” was established to educate women, specifically those pregnant, about the risks associated with over-the-counter, prescription and opioid medication on both the mom and the baby. The campaign had over 95,000 impressions and over 550 check- throughs to the landing page. graphic designer has been tapped and potential messages as well as existing resources are being discussed.
Safe Harbors: Anti-Trafficking Project
The girls who participate in the Not a #Number learn how to protect themselves from human trafficking and exploitation. Specifically, the curricula is presented in 5 separate day segments and offers information and exercises regarding healthy boundaries, healthy relationships and what sexual exploitation is. There is a pamphlet for Loved Ones which is important information for parents to know about the scope of this program for their kids.
Geneva, Midlakes, Dundee, Penn Yan, Canandaigua and the Finger Lakes Secondary School received the Not a #Number curriculum and have implemented it within their health classes. 491 girls ages 12-16 have completed the entire curriculum or have received some sort of trafficking/exploitation prevention programming. There was such an overwhelming response from schools wanting to participate that in December two additional staff were trained to help in 2020.
The grant has also assisted with the development of pocket guides for the kids.
“I never knew this was something that could happen here but I have friends who have talked to people online who have asked for inappropriate pictures before. I never knew there was a name for it.”
Wood Library: Suffrage History Tour
The girls who participated in the program toured the Susan B. Anthony House and in an activity were encouraged to choose a topic of dissent and create posters, a chant and a short speech to present to the group. After lunch they visited Mt. Hope Cemetery and learned about the important embers of the suffrage movement in Rochester. Books about the suffrage movement and the importance of voting were added to the library collection.
Some comments from the students:
“My favorite part was going to Susan B Anthony's house and seeing the rooms in which the Women's Rights Movement began.” -Grace S (Senior)
“Going into Susan's house and learning more about her.” -Chris T (Sophomore)
“My favorite was the graves and learning the meaning behind them. Also, creating our own protest.” - Kaitlin M (Junior)
“I really enjoyed the house and the cemetery. I want to see more.”-Deliliah R (Freshman)
“Walking through the cemetery, and learning about everyone involved with the women's rights movement.”-Wilson B (Senior)
“I loved Mount Hope Cemetery. It was nice to learn about other people helping in the Women’s Rights Movement.”-Teagan A (Senior)
ONYA Grant Application
Make a Difference
We rely on substantial aid from generous people like you who care to make a difference in their community. Our Non-Profit Organization depends on the generosity of benefactors like you. Thanks for helping us raise funds, every cent you decide to contribute makes a big difference to the lives of women and girls in Ontario and Yates Counties.
ONYA Board 2020
Maggie Atkins, Mary Beth Goodwin, Martha Herbik,
Pat Lewis Keefe, Diane Olivet,
Amy Pauley, Sue Raymond, Heather Reece-Tillack, Sarah Whiffen
Pat Lewis moved to Canandaigua with her husband, David Keefe, in 2005. Pat retired from Xerox in January, 2012 after a 40 yr. career in the Customer Business Group. Post retirement Pat turned one of her favorite hobbies into a small business venture – designing and making costume jewelry. Pat has served on the board of the Canandaigua Yacht Club; and currently a member of the Granger Homestead Christkindl Committee managing, the Santa House; a member and Corresponding Secretary for the Canandaigua Scientific Association; Ontario Yates Fund for Women and Girls (ONYA) Board member. Pat enjoys boating, reading, and traveling.
Pat Lewis Keefe, President
Diane Olivet, a retired educator, recently moved to Canandaigua from the Southern Tier. She brings experiences from her time in the fields of public education, health education, hospice, political campaigns, and non-profit ventures dealing with the homeless and those who struggle with issues of poverty, obesity and mental health.
She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Ontario County Office for the Aging and is an elections inspector for Ontario County.
An avid reader, Diane also enjoys all types of crafts. She and her husband enjoy time with their four grown daughters and five granddaughters. They live in the city of Canandaigua with their Goldendoodle (Paige).
Diane Olivet, Vice President
Amy Pauley moved to the Canandaigua area in 2005. She is the executive director of the Victim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, a non-profit agency located in Newark, NY, that focuses on domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and bullying. Prior to this position, Amy was the executive director of the Finger Lakes Community College Foundation and director of development and government relations at FLCC. Amy has been a professional fundraiser for more than 20 years with several positions at non-profits in Pittsburgh, PA. Amy started her career as a medical technician at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. Amy has a degree in mathematics from Smith College and a M.B.A. with a concentration in sports management from Robert Morris University.
Since moving to the area, Amy has served on the boards of the Canandaigua Chamber and Bristol Valley Theater and as chair of the Canandaigua ATHENA Committee as well as several state-wide SUNY boards. She is currently a board member of the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum and the United Way of Ontario County where she serves as chair of the community investment committee. In her spare time, she enjoys watching hockey, reading and gardening.
Mary Beth Goodwin has been a resident of Farmington for over 30 years. She and her husband, Frank, have two adult sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and two cherished grandsons. Mrs. Goodwin received her bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Binghamton. She has worked as a legal assistant for an attorney in Canandaigua for over 20 years. Her interest in conservation led her to positions as chairman of the Farmington Conservation Board and the Ontario County Soil & Water Conservation District Board. In addition to spending time with family, her interests include gardening, reading, hiking and bicycling.
Mary Beth Goodwin, Secretary
Maggie Atkins has lived in the Canandaigua area for over 30 years. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering and has worked in the chemical, nuclear waste, and machine tool fields.
Since relocating to Canandaigua, she managed a small family-owned machinery manufacturing business for 25 years; and served on numerous committees and boards, including: the Canandaigua Family YMCA, the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, the New York Association of Conservation Districts, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Task Force, the Ontario/Yates Fund for Women and Girls, Gorham Rotary Cub, the Gorham Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Gorham Town Board as Supervisor. She enjoys sailing, traveling, reading, and working with organizations where she can help to make a difference in people’s lives.
Born and raised in Canandaigua, NY, Martha Herbik is the Executive Director of the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum. Prior to her current position, Martha taught German in the Newark and Wayne Central Schools for 17 years, at both the middle school and high school levels. Her work with students both inside and outside of the classroom, with programs such as Youth-to-Youth and GAPP, has been especially rewarding.
Martha earned a bachelor’s degree in German from Allegheny College, a master’s degree in German Literature from The Pennsylvania State University, and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Nazareth College. She and her husband, Todd, live in Bristol and have three children.
Sue Raymond is a retired physical education teacher from Rush-Henrietta. Sue joined ONYA when she learned about ONYA’s mission. Having been involved with girls with low self-esteem and troubled lives, she felt that it was important to support programs that provided an escape from such situations which ONYA’s grants do. Sue feels very fortunate that she came from a loving, supportive family where she was the oldest of seven children. While things weren’t always easy for her family, Sue learned what caring and support can accomplish and felt that by being part of ONYA she could help change the lives of girls and women in the area.
Born and raised in Canandaigua, NY, Heather Reece-Tillack is a Professor of Nursing at Finger Lakes Community College. She has taught nursing for 26 years and is a Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist who earned her AAS degree in nursing from FLCC, bachelor and master’s degree from the University of Rochester. Heather lives in Canandaigua and has three children and two grandchildren.
Working with young women who are trying to enhance their life for the benefit of their family Heather has seen how support and opportunities can help women be successful. It is Heather’s goal to advocate for women to help them have a successful career and improve the quality of their life.
Sarah Whiffen has been a resident of Clifton Springs for over twenty years. She has a degree in Sociology from Wells College and a Masters Degree from Mansfield State in Early Childhood Education. For close to thirty years she has worked in the field of Higher Education in the greater Rochester area. Since 2002, Sarah has worked at Finger Lakes Community College and is currently the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. Her passion to help young women
She and her husband, Terry, have two daughters and quite a few furry friends at home. Sarah was involved in numerous organizations as her daughters were growing up. The family are die-hard Bills fans and enjoy kayaking and getting together with friends and family at their camp in the Catskills.