VCF Walter Cerf Community Fund Announces $290,480 in Grants to Support Youth and Families, Elderly Vermonters, and the Arts

The Walter Cerf Community Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, has announced $290,480 in grants to 40 nonprofits in its 2022 competitive grant round, including 14 multiyear awards to be distributed over the next three years. In addition, the fund is pleased to support two applicants with large, single-year grant awards: The Essex Community Historical Society received $10,000 to support the Fort Ethan Allen Water Tower restoration project, and the Middlebury Studio School received $15,000 to support educational programming. Additional grants include a combination of awards supporting youth and families, seniors, historic preservation, arts, and community enrichment.

Born in Leipzig, Germany in 1907, Walter Cerf spent most of his youth in Berlin. He relocated to the United States in 1937 as a refugee of Nazi Germany. After becoming a U.S. citizen, he served in military intelligence and developed a deep appreciation for the preservation of art, culture, and local history. In 1947, he began a 25-year career as a Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, eventually retiring to his summer home in Leicester, Vermont in 1972.

During the last 20 years of his life, Walter Cerf made gifts exceeding $10 million to more than 100 different organizations in Vermont. At his death in 2001, a permanent endowment, the Walter Cerf Community Fund, was established at the Vermont Community Foundation. The fund makes grants annually in Walter’s name and continues the generosity of this remarkable man who cared deeply about the vitality of communities in Addison County, northern Rutland County, and beyond.

2022 Grant Recipients

Multiyear grant totals reflect the amount to be distributed over the next three years.

· Addison Central Teens, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Addison County Community Action Group (dba HOPE), $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Addison County Community Trust, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Addison County Home Health and Hospice, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Addison County Readers, $12,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Vermont, $1,000

· Brandon Free Public Library, $7,500, Multiyear grant recipient

· Brandon Museum at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace Community Center, $5,000

· Common Ground Center, $5,000

· Eastview at Middlebury, $1,500

· Elderly Services, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Essex Community Historical Society, $10,000, Large grant recipient

· Fort Ticonderoga, $7,880, Multiyear grant recipient

· Friends of the Vergennes Opera House, $5,000

· Girls on the Run of Vermont, $5,000

· Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, $4,000

· Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, $3,900

· John W. Graham Emergency Shelter, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, $2,500

· Middlebury Area Land Trust, $5,000

· Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, $2,500

· Middlebury Studio School, $22,000, Multiyear & large grant recipient

· Moosalamoo Association, $2,500

· Opera Company of Middlebury, $13,500, Multiyear grant recipient

· Otter Creek Child Center, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Preservation Trust of Vermont, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Rainbow Children’s Center, $2,500

· ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise, $2,500

· Safer Society Foundation, $5,000

· Starksboro Village Meeting House Society, $5,000

· The Current, $2,000

· Town Hall Theater, $5,000

· UP for Learning, $2,500

· Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, $2,500

· Vermont Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, $2,000

· Vermont Family Network, $1,700

· Vermont Historical Society, $15,000, Multiyear grant recipient

· Vermont Humanities Council, $5,000

· Vermont Symphony Orchestra, $1,500

· Vermont Works for Women, $2,500

The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love.

The heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. We are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future. Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.