July 8, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: July 8, 2013


---- — JEERS to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York for keeping its outdated and sexist name. The association is a fine organization that promotes public safety and coordinates educational efforts among first-responders. The organization was founded in 1872, and it was likely that a female firefighter was a rare sight at that time. Not so today. The organization now represents the interests of the more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel from around New York — and we are confident that a sizable number of those brave and hard-working volunteers are female. They should be represented in the organization’s title with the gender-neutral name that has become pervasive in society: firefighter. With fewer and fewer people willing to put in the time and training commitments needed to become volunteers, it certainly isn’t wise to have little girls thinking they can’t aspire to the ranks of this organization. It’a time to make the change.

CHEERS to Adirondack Community Trust, for meeting the highest national standards for philanthropy. The Lake Placid-based agency, which goes by the acronym ACT, manages a range of local charitable funds. Around since 1997, ACT has funds “allowing donors to advance a cause such as education or the environment, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants.” The organization just recently met Community Foundations National Standards Board standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability. The national accreditation organization bills itself as “the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations.” To earn accreditation, nonprofits must document their policies for donor services, investments, grant making and administration. ACT achieved that kiss of quality in 2007 and now again this year. “This is important to everyone who works with us,” ACT Executive Director Cali Brooks said in a news release. “When people establish a fund, make an unrestricted gift or set up a charitable bequest, they put their trust in us. They rely on us to manage the investment wisely and honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards reconfirmation says our house is in order.” ACT has helped numerous local organizations and individuals be able to offer grants, scholarships and other funding to support people and projects around the North Country. It is affirming to know that ACT manages all the money in adherence to the highest ethical standards.

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