We have been quietly working on a major addition to Oswegatchie for the past 3 years. Since May 1st, 2013 a tremendous amount of construction has occurred in the heart of Oswegatchie. If you are used to staying in Sutliff and wished for a better way to experience Oswegatchie ,Foster Lodge is the place for you.
Foster Lodge is a 34 x 60 wood frame structure built on a floating slab. This building will serve a dual purpose. During thesummer camp season it will operate as an infirmary. The remainder of the year, it will be the second year round guest lodge that can host groups of 24 or less. It is the first year round structure at Oswegatchie to meet all ADA standards, making it barrier free for those with disabilities. The building has four bedrooms, two common spaces, and a kitchen area for food preparation and service. It also includes a ground level patio, and a deck on each end of the second floor.
Click here to check our support page on www.oswegatchie.org.
The Quiet Stage
In the fundraising world, whenever a major capitol project is begun, a percentage of the project is done in a quiet stage. Meaning, if you need to raise money, you have to raise at least 50% of the funds on a person to person level. Then when the end of the project comes into sight, you can go public and solicit funds from the masses. The reason for this is that people are more likely to donate once they see the progress in action.
The majority of the Foster Lodge has happened in a "Quiet Stage". Before September 2013, the only people who knew this project was happening were donors or people who had been to Oswegatchie.
The Foster Lodge began as a grant writing initiative with several NY FFA Chapters partnering with the NY FFA Foundation. Part of each chapter's grant budget included management fees/stipends. Each FFA Advisor from their school agreed to donate their management stipend to the FFA Foundation as seed money to bring this project to reality. The chapters taking part in this project that have committed management stipends included the following:
Alexandria Bay FFA Prattsburgh FFA
Beaver River FFA Sidney FFA
Cayuga Onondaga BOCES FFA South Jefferson FFA
Lowville FFA South Lewis FFA
Otselic Valley FFA TST New Visions FFA
Oxford FFA Unadilla Valley FFA
Pioneer FFA Walton FFA
Total funds generated from these fees over the past four years equate to over $100,000.
Major Gifts have also been received from the following donors:
The Daryle & Sharon Foster Family- Lead Donor $50,000
Dr. Arthur Berkey $35,000
Bruce and Kathleen Erath-in honor of Dick and Audrey Strangeway- $10,000
Mrs. Victoria Gregory $6,500
Retired Agricultural Educators of NY $3,560
In Memory of Robert Fritz $2,500
Sidney FFA Alumni Chapter $2,500
There remain three ways to contribute to this project.
1. A gift in honor of Richard and Audrey Strangeway
The Owls Nest, which is the name reserved for the second floor of Foster Lodge, has received a matching gift opportunity for up to $10,000 from Bruce & Kathleen Erath. This donation is being made in honor of Richard and Audrey Strangeway. We are currently seeking financial support from those who wish to make a gift in honor of Richard and Audrey. Those who give a contribution to this cause will have their name inscribed on the plaque dedicating the room. The best part, your contribution will be matched. The goal is to raise $20,000.
The Owls Nest will be a multi-purpose space. One third of the floor will be reserved for sleeping accommodations for up to 8 persons. The other two thirds will be a common space for those renting the Foster Lodge. This space will have the capacity to host meetings, chapter officer retreats, and serve as much needed program space for both summer and year round users of Oswegatchie. The second floor will be highlighted by a deck that will overlook Long Pond.
2. Earmark Donor
The other way the individuals and FFA Chapters can get involved is by giving an earmarked donation of money to help us outfit the building. You will be able to go to the Oswegatchie website to see a complete list of the items we still need to buy and the amount required to buy them. Refer to the list and let us know if you want to make a general contribution or if you would like to earmark funds for a specific item. This is a great way for all of our chapters and supporters to get involved in bringing this project to completion.
All contributions made to the completion of Foster Lodge will be recognized on a plaque which will hang in the building. We will also acknowledge each donor with a letter of thanks and tax receipt for tax purposes.
3. Weekend Warriors needed
In an effort to complete this project within our budget, we are still seeking volunteers to come up on the weekends to assist in a variety of final tasks. We are accepting volunteers any weekends through the fall. Call the Oswegatchie staff and let us know what skill you can bring to camp to help us finish this project.
The goal for opening Foster Lodge is January 1st, 2014. After that date, the lodge will be rented on a per night basis. The addition of this building will allow us to host more than 1 group on site during the winter time or for our extra large groups to spread out into two buildings. With its kitchen and two common spaces, groups should find a comfortable arrangement in the building. We can not wait to see our FFA Advisors and chaperones sitting on the front deck while students are heading out for experiences with Oswegatchie staff!