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.

Historic Palace Theatre, Inc.

The Historic Palace Theatre, Inc. is a community based organization dedicated to maintaining the historic and architectural integrity of this Western New York landmark while providing a venue for the performing arts and a center for arts education.  Restoration  of this beautiful theater has begun including lobby renovations, interior paint and plaster, rigging, new seats, an extended orchestra pit, and upgraded lights, sound, and HVAC. 
To learn more bout this project please visit: 

Act II: A Grand Restoration

“This project will re-establish the Palace as a high-quality venue in WNY’s thriving theater community. More than 85,000 people walk through the theater’s doors each year, and the local economic impact felt by hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions is estimated to be $2.4 million. Once the upgrades are completed, that number could increase to 125,000 visitors or more, increasing regional economic impact to more than $3.5 million annually. This project helps to spark revitalization and renewal in the City of Lockport, and Niagara County. The longer the stay by visitors, the more tourism dollars impact the Niagara region.”       
– Historic Palace Theatre Staff

Lockport Family YMCA

The YMCA Buffalo-Niagara is a charitable, community-based organization committed to providing programs designed to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

A recent move to a beautiful $14 million, state of the art building on Snyder Drive in Lockport is enabling the Y to increase their services focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, which strengthens the foundation of our local community.  To read more about their Lockport programming please visit: 

Lockport Family YMCA Programs

“It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since we first welcomed the community through the doors of the new Lockport Family YMCA. Our goal from the very beginning was to expand the Y’s mission outreach and impact. While our initial sights were set on enrolling 10,000 members by the close of 2019, the community’s incredible response pushed us past that target by June. Since then our membership has grown to 12,500 (…) the branch as been filled with activity, recording more than 392,000 individual membership card scans over the last 365 days. This fall, we will provide 118 classes that will play host to 10-40 participants each week. Our SilverSneakers class of older adults has proven to be our most popular, hosting up to 65 participants most days. 
We’ve had the privilege of caring for an average of 105 young children per day through our Child Watch and Space Station Adventure rooms while their parent took time out to focus on their own health and well-being. Youth engagement has flourished…and the pool continues to be a favorite amenity, not only with aquatic fitness classes, but also plenty of lap swimmers and kids and families enjoying open swim times. 
Knowing where we were and how far we have come, we couldn’t be more grateful for your support of the Y’s dream to be more and do more for the Lockport Community.” 
– President/CEO, YMCA Buffalo Niagara – October 2019

Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara offers you a chance to step back in time to an era when great empires struggled for control of North America.You’ll visit original 18th century buildings, enjoy incredible views and take part in exciting living history programs. The Fort’s Visitor Center offers you introductory exhibits filled with original artifacts and an award-winning 16-minute orientation film with a newly updated theater and surround sound system. Don’t miss the Fort’s original War of 1812 Flag. Inside the Fort, you’ll tour original buildings where Native American, French, British and American soldiers lived and worked from the 18th to the 20th centuries. During the summer months you’ll witness musket and artillery firing demonstrations, go on a guided tour, see artisans at work and learn about life on the Niagara Frontier during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

“It is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge the Grigg Lewis Foundation’s generous grant…to upgrade the projection system in Old Fort Niagara’s Visitor Center Theater. The previous system was installed in 2006 and after much diligent care and nursing, it finally expired earlier this summer. We are very excited to have the full experience back in operation with an improved system that will be more reliable, more cost effective to operate and easier to use.” 
– Executive Director, Old Fort Niagara – October 2019

DeSales Catholic School

DeSales is a regional Catholic elementary school, located in the Town of Lockport NY, within the Diocese of Buffalo. The school is a designated STREAM school, a center of excellence that inspires individual students to reach their greatest potential, both inside and outside the classroom, while providing students with the fundamental building blocks to be innovative, critical-thinkers, and responsible future leaders. Many interior and exterior renovations are helping DeSales offer a nurturing community dedicated to advancing the highest academic standards and an exceptional faith-based education, rooted in the values of love, compassion, mercy, sacrifice and justice as taught by St. Francis de Sales.

“In addition to benefiting the students and alumni of DeSales, our renovated gymnasium is a  welcoming place for the community. We have invited the community into the DeSales gym for a number of public, free and family friendly events. Some of these events include  Family Reading Night, Vacation Bible School, Knights of Columbus Basketball Free Throw Contest, the Barge Canal Optimists Girls Basketball Clinic and many school Masses. These renovations benefit both DeSales and the Eastern Niagara community.”
– Karen Rahill, Principal, DeSales Catholic School – March 2020

Lockport City School District Field Trips

Combining our focus on arts & culture, history & tourism, education, youth and recreation – the Foundation sends various Lockport City School District classrooms on fun and educational field trips.  Our Self Contained/Special Education classrooms across the district plan various field trips and special activities for their students, thanks to our Norman Sinclair fund. 
Fourth grade elementary school students visit Old Fort Niagara for a fun, interactive history lesson and Lockport High School for a musical performance and lesson by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Our DeSales Catholic School 4th graders partake in Catholic Schools Day with the BPO at Klienhans Music Hall. The feedback we receive from the teacher’s and the children themselves is overwhelmingly positive and further expresses the importance of enrichment opportunities like these.

“Thanks for our trip to Old Fort Niagara. I had so much fun there. I even got to see them shoot a cannon. And you got to go in about every building.” 
Sincerely, Ethan, 4th grade

“Thank you for letting us have a chance to go to the BPO concert and I learned to conduct, dance, I love and enjoyed Romeo and Juliet music, hoe down and singing.” 
From, Azurai, 4th grade

“Thank you for sending the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to Lockport. I learned Mozart, and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, and I saw how well the orchestra worked together. I am so thankful for you guys! Thank you so much.” – Kamdin,  4th grade

“Thank you for giving us a chance to see and hear the BPO in person. I learned how music moves us. Also I enjoyed the last song where we got to dance in our chair. Thank you again for giving us this chance.” – Evan,  4th grade

“Thank you for sending Private Glenn to our school, and for sending us to Fort Niagara. I learned that red coats are British, men shaved with something like a knife, and men carried a man bag with only food or anything they liked. Also, people  made spoons out of cow horn, they made hats out of beaver skin, and the first war in Fort Niagara took 14 days. The second war took 20 minutes. Thank you so much again, I had so much fun.”  – Kailer, 4th grade