Impact Stories

We would like to share one of the most satisfying parts of our work by recognizing the people and agencies making a difference in our community, and how their work is affecting the residents of Niagara County.

Niagara Aquatics Club

Niagara Aquatics is dedicated to providing the best swim instruction services to both new and experienced swimmers of all ages and abilities via group lessons, private instruction, clinics, and other programming. Niagara Aquatics offers Learn to Swim programs for all ages, and an Adaptive Learn to Swim Program for Children with Special Needs or Children with Autism. The competitive team is a year-round, goal-oriented swim club offering professional, full-time coaching and an environment designed to assist swimmers in achieving their full potential. Niagara Aquatics Club has a mission to combat juvenile delinquency and community deterioration, while promoting social welfare and physical fitness.  They promote the development of good sportsmanship through the conduct of supervised swimming and other athletic activities.

Niagara Aquatics Club

“The grant absolutely made a difference in the quality of the services we provide.  The lane lines are necessary for training, so that swimmers can swim straight.  We were much more efficient and organized.  The reels allowed for safe storage of the lane lines.  The deck furniture with lounge chairs, chairs, umbrellas and small tables allowed for an inviting atmosphere and gave parents front row seats to our program.  The younger Learn to Swim kids especially benefited from having their parents nearby.  The Niagara Aquatics gear made our program look professional and helped us acquire more swimmers through direct marketing.  We had extra funds to purchase coaches shirts, a banner, championship t-shirts and sweatshirts, and we were able to treat the children from Youth Mentoring Services kids to 3 days at the pool.” – Niagara Aquatics Club – September 2021

Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County

The Youth Mentoring Service’s Mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth primarily through a relationship with a caring adult, and to assist them in achieving their highest potential as they grow to become productive, responsible, and caring citizens. YMS addresses the needs of children and youth (ages of 7-19) who live in risk and their families by providing activities and other resources.

Youth Mentoring Services

Royalton Hartland Agriculture Foundation

The Royalton-Hartland Agriculture Program is designed to provide students with a sound and broad education in agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources. Agricultural education implements critical thinking and inquiry-based learning in the classroom and career exploration through work study and supervised agricultural experience programs.

Students will develop awareness that work is society’s way of creating, preserving, changing and improving its environment. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills such as public speaking, teamwork, organization and civic service through the intra-curricular implementation of FFA.

Royalton Hartland Agriculture Foundation 

 “One of the first grants awarded to the Ag. Foundation, support from the Grigg Lewis Foundation was a significant demonstration of support for the Ag. Program to the staff, students, families, and greater Niagara County community.  The financial investment was equally as impactful as it supported the purchase of essential learning tools for teachers to improve their instruction and expand student interest in agriculture.  The addition of so many interactive learning tools also increased interest among teachers within each building, especially at the Elementary level.  The FFA students received multiple awards at local and state competitions and expected to perform well at the national convention in Indianapolis in late October.  This grant award also provided the newly established Roy-Hart Ag. Foundation with financial support that enabled them to cover early administrative costs.  The Ag. Foundation has been extremely successful in advocating for the District’s Ag. Program, raising an additional $100,000 from community members and local foundations.  Money raised by the Foundation has been invested in specific District Ag. Program needs such as transportation for FFA students that cannot afford the travel expenses to competitions, special events such as Thank a Farmer, and supply and equipment needs at all three buildings.”

-Royalton Hartland Agriculture Foundation  – March 2020

WAHI Studio, Inc.

WAHI Studio INC is an art education 501(c)3 nonprofit serving Niagara County and WNY with memberships, programs, events, and creative joy. They take a therapeutic approach to creating art. WAHI Studio has a large collage media collection for art journaling and mixed media. You don’t have to be good at drawing to make something here.  WAHI Studio hosts free to the community events: Newfane Chalk Festival, Olcott Chalk Festival, and WAHI Festifall. During the summer months chalk art is the focus as they go out into the community with temporary murals. They make art accessible and work with both children and adults.
To learn more visit:

WAHI Studio, Inc. 


Aquarium of Niagara

With our community and partners, the Aquarium of Niagara celebrates our natural wonders and inspires people to make a difference for aquatic life. They impact over 306,000 guests annually through their education and conservation programs. Over the last 55 years, their collections have grown to include sea lions, seals, penguins, and hundreds of fish and invertebrates. They are proud to be a rescue facility for blind and permanently injured seals. For more information please visit:

Aquarium of Niagara Programs

“In 2021, The Aquarium received a Challenge Grant to help offset animal care costs. More specifically, funding was used to help cover the cost for the purchase of essential water treatment media used in critical life support systems for the Aquarium’s living exhibits. The grant made a significant impact during a period when the Aquarium faced tremendous challenges. We were able to leverage this grant to secure funding from other funders. The outpouring of support from local private foundations reinvigorated the Aquarium staff and ensure the Organization could continue to sere the community as a cultural hub of education and conservation..” 
-Aquarium of Niagara – October 2021

Locks Heritage District Corporation

The Lockport Locks Heritage District is a nationally recognized heritage attraction, featuring the fully restored and operating the circa 1842 Enlarged Erie Canal Flight of Five Locks adjacent to Barge Canal Locks 34 &35. The Locks Heritage District is easily accessible and fully interpreted, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.   
Visit the Flight of Five, Locks District Museum and Lock Tender Tribute, or schedule a Locks District Tour and see a Locks Demonstration.

Locks Heritage Attractions

“The committment of the Grigg Lewis Foundation has opened a number of opportunities for the LHDC to secure the funding needed to complete the Lock Tenders Tribute.  It is doubtful that so many private sector organizations would have considered our funding requests if not for the the prior approval of  Grigg Lewis. The target date for the completion of the Lock Tenders Tribute is October 2022.  ”       
– Locks Heritage District Corporation – October 2021