Fund Provides Additional COVID-19 Emergency Grants


Hero Fund America Fund (HFA), a field-of-interest fund of The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, has announced a round of grants for 2020 intended to increase awareness, advocacy and support for fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement agencies in New York and other states. The fund was founded in partnership with Hero Fund America, Inc., by Garth Roberts of Sharon Springs, who was inspired by the selfless and heroic efforts of first responders during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.


The organization had planned to award three $1,000 competitive grants through its competitive grantmaking this year. When the current public health crisis prompted the cancellation of HFA’s biggest fundraiser, Run 4 the Hills for First Responders, its board of directors allocated an additional $15,000 from registration fees and donation dollars to award a total of $18,000 to assist frontline organizations affected by the global pandemic.


“As the challenging reality of the pandemic grips our nation, I’m reminded of the inspiration behind the formation of Hero Fund America,” said Roberts. “Today, with a completely different set of complicated circumstances and unimaginable risk, we are provided once again an opportunity to witness the courage, strength and compassion of first responders. This organization is dedicated to serve these brave heroes.”


The fund’s 2020 grants include the following recipients:



  • Big Moose Ambulance Company
  • Central Oneida County Volunteer Ambulance Corps
  • Cobleskill Rescue Squad
  • Deerfield Volunteer Fire Company
  • Floyd Volunteer Fire Department
  • Frankfort Hill Volunteer Fire Company
  • Ilion Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department
  • Maynard Volunteer Fire Department
  • Middleburgh Emergency Volunteer Ambulance Corps
  • Mohawk Valley Ambulance Corps
  • New York Mills Volunteer Fire Company
  • Old Forge Volunteer Fire Department
  • Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad
  • Sauquoit Volunteer Fire Company
  • Scho-Wright Ambulance Service
  • Sherrill Kenwood Volunteer Fire Department
  • Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department




Since the fund’s inception in 2016, Hero Fund America Fund has awarded 26 grants totaling $22,200 to meet the needs of first responders.


“Hero Fund America is stepping up its commitment to emergency response organizations when it really counts,” said Alicia Dicks, president/CEO of The Community Foundation. “By transforming today’s challenges into opportunities to help, Hero Fund America is both paying tribute to the selflessness of first responders and advancing a truly worthwhile mission.”


Photo Caption: First Responders and Hero Fund America supporters participating in the 2019 Run 4 the Hills First Responders road race in Sharon Springs.

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