Friday, April 30, 2010

Utica Spring Carnival

Wed May 5th thru Sunday May 9th
Parkway Recreation Center
Games, rides and food

Wed, Thurs, and Fri opens at 6pm
Sat and Sun opens at 12pm

Proceeds benefit Youth Empowerment Project

Somali Bantu office opens for business

The OD related the opening of the nonprofit Mohawk Valley Somali Bantu Community Association at its new office at 309 Genesee St.

“We decided to open the office to help our community because there is a lot of need on the language barriers, employment, case management and resources for families.” Executive Director Sidi Mwalimu said.

The plan to open an office began evolving about two years ago, when organizers wanted to ensure that their relatives and other Bantu refugees knew where to find needed services.

“We will be like a bridge for the outside and our community,” he said.

According to Mwalimu, Bantu families have a hard time communicating in English and reading documents. The nonprofit group will help refugees read their mail, fill out forms and complete daily routines such as paying bills and going to appointments.

“When they need a job, we can help them with job searching, interview preparations, and training on how to find a job.” Mwalimu said. We are also authorized to work with any refugee in Utica, so whoever comes in the door and has refugee status, we can help them.” Read more here.

Nomination Call for 2010 Friends of Children for Oneida Herkimer and Madison Counties

We are searching for our 2010 Friends of Children for Oneida Herkimer and Madison Counties and hope you can help us! Each year we host a very nice dinner at which we honor ALL people who work tirelessly to make life better for young children in our community. In the past, we have honored community members, elected officials, church members, child care centers, human service organizations, teachers, WIC coordinator, family friendly employers as well as family child care providers. Do you know anyone from these categories that you would like to nominate?

Attached here is a pdf of our 2010 nomination form for our annual recognition awards dinner in the hopes that you will encourage your students, employees, colleagues, parents or friends to nominate someone deserving of our "Friends of Children" Recognition award. When I last checked, we had not received very many nominations this year, especially in Madison and Herkimer counties. Remember, you can also nominate your organization as a family friendly employer or a person from the community who does great things for children. The deadline is May 1st but if you email or fax or mail it to me by the end of next week I will accept it. It is even easier and quicker to do it online at our website.... Just type it in the form and email it back to us!

Please spread the word to others ......I know that there are so many people who are deserving of recognition for what they do for children and families and we would like to celebrate their efforts!
Thank you~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Official: Nonprofit agency GroWest subject of Utica's mystery probe

The OD reported that the subject of City Hall's mystery investigation that the Roefaro administration won't discuss is a nonprofit program that uses federal grant money administered by the city to rehabilitate homes, a city official said Monday.

GroWest has worked with the city under a number of different programs, including lead abatement, the sale of historic homes in the Rutger Park neighborhood, the Oneida Square fa├žade improvement project and federal housing programs, which exist to create affordable housing for low-income households, according to records and O-D archives.

The agency was founded in 1996 with a focus on revitalizing the West Utica neighborhood around the Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute. In the 2009-10 fiscal year, the City of Utica paid $517,783 in Community Development Block Grant money to GroWest, which used the money mostly to assist with housing renovations, according to city Comptroller Michael Cerminaro.

Now, a City Hall official with knowledge of the investigation and who requested anonymity told the O-D Monday the city's probe is focusing on GroWest's activities. The official would not comment on the details of the investigation. Read more here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Genesis Meeting April 29th: Utica Master Plan and County Tourism

Genesis General Meeting
Thursday April 29th - 7:30am at Hotel Utica

Presentation # 1: "Preview of the City of Utica Master Plan"
Genesis welcomes members of the Utica Master Plan Steering Committee and City of Utica Urban and Economic Development planning staff.

Presentation # 2: " Year in Review at Oneida County Tourism"
Genesis welcomes Kelly Blazosky of Oneida County Tourism who will offer a preview of her first year as the bureau's President.

The meeting is FREE with complimentary refreshments. Everyone is welcome to attend!
Send your RSVP to Ray Durso, Jr., by calling 792.7187 or

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tough times: 'We are trying to save the symphony'

The OD reported on the challenges the Utica Symphony Orchestra is facing. As the article relates:

Sponsorships are a fraction of what they once were, season ticket subscriptions plummeted over the past two decades and younger generations don't have as much interest in classical music as older generations do.

A sign of how tight things are: Faced with a cancellation by soprano Colleen Gaetano, who was supposed to headline a May 8 performance by local natives, the symphony decided to cancel the concert.

It would have been a gamble to go with someone who might not draw as large an audience, symphony board Vice President Loretta Massoud-Romano said Friday.

“To replace her, it was really taking a chance with the way the economy is,” Massoud-Romano said. “We were not in a position to take a gamble. We are trying to save the symphony.”

Faced with these challenges, the symphony and its board are working with a marketing agency on attracting wider audiences by targeting the new style of symphonies nationwide, which often includes moving from classical music to a more modern repertoire.

“I want it to be noticed by the young, the adults, every generation,” Romano said. “We're trying to define what everybody wants to see.”

The symphony is also working with a tighter budget, which means fewer people taking on more responsibility.

Officials could not provide current symphony budget figures Friday. An Internal Revenue Service Form 990 filing from a year ago shows the symphony spent more than $321,000 in the year ending June 30, 2008, and took in about $336,000. That helped whittle away at a deficit from the prior year that had stood at about $25,000, the tax form shows. Read more here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Idealware on Social Media

Idealware, a NYCON endorsed vendor, has released a report, Using Social Media to Meet Nonprofit Goals: The Results of a Survey" in which they surveyed 459 nonprofit staff members already using social media at their organizations to ask them what tools they were using and how effectively they thought those tools were meeting particular goals. View the results here.

Excellus BCBS offers info on health care reform

Excellus BCBS is offering an information section related to the health care reform legislation.

Keeping You Informed
We want to keep you updated on the status of this legislation. While the law was just passed, many activities still have to occur. As the implications and requirements of the legislation become clearer, we will continue to update these pages. You may also Join Our Email Alert to be notified of updates.

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act It was modified by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on March 30, 2010.

The following summary explains key health coverage provisions provided in the federal law. In some instances state law may do more.

The legislation will do the following:

  • Most individuals will be required to have health insurance beginning in 2014, or face a penalty.
  • Individuals who do not have access to affordable employer coverage will be able to purchase coverage through a health Insurance Exchange with premium and cost-sharing credits available to some people to make coverage more affordable. Small businesses will be able to purchase coverage through a separate Exchange.
  • Employers will be required to pay penalties for employees who receive tax credits for health insurance through the Exchange, with exceptions for small employers.
  • New regulations will be imposed on all health plans that will prevent health insurers from denying coverage to people for pre-existing conditions and their health status, and from charging higher premiums based on health status and gender.
  • Medicaid will be expanded to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,404 for an individual and $29,327 for a family of four in 2009) for all individuals under age 65. (Medicaid coverage may vary by state.)
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation will reduce the number of uninsured by 32 million in 2019 at a net cost of $938 billion over ten years, while reducing the deficit by $124 billion during this time period.

For more information, click here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our view: Take time next week to volunteer

The OD featured an article on a call for volunteering. As the article relates:

One of this region’s greatest strengths is its rich corps of volunteers. Whether it’s the world-class Utica Boilermaker Road Race, which boasts thousands of volunteers, or the small community church, which relies on only a handful of parishioners, we’re blessed with dedicated people willing to donate their valuable time to a worthy cause.

If you’re not part of this volunteer network, get involved. Next week will provide the perfect opportunity to do so — it’s National Volunteer Week. Read more here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Leadership Mohawk Valley hosts Nonprofit Showcase

Leadership Mohawk Valley (LMV) will host its 4th Annual Nonprofit Showcase, to be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from 10:30 am-2:30 pm at the SUNYIT Campus Center Lobby.

The Nonprofit Showcase is the perfect opportunity for area organizations to showcase their organization, while promoting volunteer opportunities and/or board positions they have available.

The Showcase will take place concurrently with the LMV Class of 2010’s six group project presentations, luncheon, and LMV graduation. For LMV graduates and alumni, the Showcase is a perfect opportunity to connect leaders with area Nonprofits, who have volunteer opportunities within their organizations.

For more information, or to register for the Nonprofit Showcase, contact Ann Rushlo, LMV Director at 315-792-7551 or email

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Presenter Offers Invaluable Advice and Guidance on Improving the Audit Process and Quality Audits

The Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group hosted David Moynihan, President of the NYS Society of CPAs, on Wed, March 31st at the Rescue Mission's Chapel. The program was sponsored in part by The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.

David discussed the importance of quality audits and improving the audit process. His enjoyable presentation covered best practices in procuring an auditor, auditor-client communication, and getting the most out of an audit.

David's presentation is available here:

David Moynihan, CPA is President of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Moynihan is the partner in charge of the audit and attest group at Testone, Marshall & Discenza LLP.

About the NYSSCPA

Representing 29,000 CPAs, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) is the oldest state accounting organization in the nation, celebrating its 110th anniversary this year.

Incorporated in 1897, the Society is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to establish and maintain high standards of integrity, honor, and character among certified public accountants. Its members are CPAs working in public practice, industry, government and education in a state that serves as the home of Wall Street and major financial institutions.

The New York State Society of CPAs is located at 3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016. To learn more about the Society call 800-633-6320 or visit the Society’s website at

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nonprofit Resource for Health Care Reform

CDPHP has created a helpful overview of the health care reform and its different aspects. The primary changes for 2010 are the following:

Given the recent signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Americans should understand that it may take several years for the changes in the bill to be enacted. CDPHP remains an active advocate in the reduction of health care costs through innovative medical management initiatives.

For a summary of the entire health care reform bill, click here.

Changes effective for plan years beginning six months after the legislation’s enactment (September 23, 2010):

Existing individual and employer-sponsored health plans will be allowed to remain essentially the same; except they will be required to comply with the items below:
  • Lifetime and annual limits on coverage, based upon dollar value of benefits will be prohibited.
  • Prohibits cost sharing (i.e. copays, deductibles, co-insurance) for certain preventive services.
  • For plans not in existence prior to March 23, 2010, mandates coverage for preventive services specified by the US Preventive Services Task Force; immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC; and preventive services and screenings as provided for in guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
  • Young adults to age 26 will be allowed to continue on their parent’s family health insurance if the parent’s plan provides dependent coverage.
  • Ensure access to a parent's health plan for children with pre-existing conditions and prohibit limitations on pre-existing conditions for children to age 19.
  • Prohibits health plans from rescinding coverage from a member once a plan has been issued, except in cases of fraud or misrepresentation of material fact.
  • Waiting periods for coverage will be limited to no more than 90 days.

To review a full outline of provisions of the bill effective in 2010, click here. To view the other resources offered by CDPHP, click here.