The crisis caused by COVID-19 has impacted our community’s nonprofit organizations and the people that they serve in a significant way. With doors closed for an indefinite amount of time, many executive directors of these organizations face the crushing reality that they may not have the funds to reopen or operate at full capacity.

In response to the effects of COVID-19, Bridge Builders Community Foundations and the United Way of Venango County are partnering to establish the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support the nonprofits impacted by the virus. Input from the nonprofit sector and other organizations will play a critical role in helping the partnership better understand specific issues faced by the community.

More information on the fund and its intended use will be released soon.

For the safety of the staff and the public, only online donations will be accepted at this time. Donations can be made online at or
All donations will go directly toward supporting the jeopardized nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to the community. Our community is strong, and together we can accomplish anything.

GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science), under the sponsorship of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, has received a $50,000 grant from the Pittsburgh-based McElhattan Foundation to implement an impact study of the 25-year-old program designed to encourage girls to explore STEM education and career paths. The study will be conducted in partnership with Wellesley College’s National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) and will involve GEMS leaders and girls who have participated in Franklin area programs.

GEMS leaders and NIOST staff will be hosting events and contacting current and former GEMS members to interview them and survey them about their experiences.

“We are thrilled to be able to conduct research on the impact of GEMS programs, “said Laura Reasoner Jones, GEMS Founder. “When I brought GEMS to Venango County in 2013, I was overjoyed at the response and the funding available through BBCF. We estimate that over 1600 girls have been served through GEMS programs at the elementary and middle schools and through programs at the libraries.”

As part of the grant process, McElhattan Foundation staff visited the GEMS clubs at Sandy Creek Elementary where leaders Holly Johnson and Kim Shirey shared the robotics programs. Currently all elementary schools in the county and the Oil City Middle School have very active GEMS programs. In addition, both Franklin and Oil City Library host afternoon and summer programs with the help of GEMS staff.

For more information contact:
Laura Jones @ or 814-807-2992

Recent abundant rainfall and flooding over the weekend has resulted in disaster within our Venango and Clarion County communities. These events have left individuals and families without homes, ruined local businesses, caused damage to personal belongings, and left roadways impassable. There were many reports of individuals who were trapped within their homes, and emergency personnel were unable to obtain access to provide assistance to them during the flooding. 911 received around 100 phone calls between the time of 9 o’clock Friday night until 1 o’clock in the morning on Saturday. Although the severe weather has subsided, the destruction still remains. A state of emergency has been declared in both Clarion and Venango Counties. For more information on recent events, view the following articles linked below.

Friday Night’s Flooding Closes Several Local Roadways; New Bethlehem Resident Displaced

Flooding Results in Multiple Water Rescues in New Bethlehem

Disaster Emergency Declared in Venango County

Properties along Deep Hollow Road hit hard; shelter set up by Red Cross

If you wish to make a donation in order to support individuals impacted by this flooding disaster and for future disasters in Clarion and Venango Counties, please see the banner on the Home page. You may also make make a donation by using the “Donate” tab and indicate either “Venango County Disaster Relief” or “Clarion County Disaster Relief” in the Additional Information box when completing your billing information.

Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding for Bridge Builders Community Foundations to get students in rural areas of Northwest Pennsylvania involved in educational summer workshops focused around manufacturing and to increase student interest in robotics. The grant will come from Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative.

“When we get rural students involved in STEM and manufacturing, we’re not just promoting opportunities for their future careers – we’re helping Northwest Pennsylvania’s entire advanced manufacturing and robotics sector,” said Governor Wolf. “We will remain committed to supporting programs like this that help reduce the skills gap and strengthen the commonwealth’s workforce.”

The $188,300 grant will support Bridge Builders’ Pennsylvania Rural Robotics Initiative. This program collaborates with local manufacturers to offer “school to work” summer workshops for students to meet the manufacturers, explore mentorship opportunities, and learn essential skills that will enable the students to land family-sustaining manufacturing jobs after graduation. Manufacturing partners include Specialty Fabrication and Powder Coating, Komatsu Mining, Miller Fabrication Solutions, and Kronospan. Additionally, the funding will enable rural schools to start their own teams to compete in the annual VEX Competition, the largest middle and high school STEM robotics program in the world. In the VEX Competition, teams of students design robots to complete complex challenges faster than opposing teams.

“We’re grateful to the Wolf Administration for this investment into NWPA that will create opportunities for its students immediately,” said Jill Foys, executive director of the Northwest Commission and steering committee member of the Pennsylvania Rural Robotics Initiative. “The summer camp will allow students to be taught by VEX Trainers and be engaged with our regional industry partners as well as those from workforce and economic development. They create a platform for students to develop skills that manufacturers say are important to them when selecting new hires including communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, critical thinking and initiation of ideas.”

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant is designed to provide funding for training programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as those with barriers, to gain the skills they need to gain employment in the manufacturing sector. Eligible applicants include technical and trade schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations that develop new and innovative training programs and partner with two or more manufacturers.

The Training-to-Career grant is part of Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative that was launched in October 2017. This initiative ensures that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement. Working with DCED’s strategic partners, including Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs), Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and non-profit organizations, this initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.

In the 2019-2020 Executive Budget, Governor Wolf proposed the new Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) to provide workforce development opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. SWEAP will expand access to early childhood education, increase investments in schools and educators, and further partner with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative. Through SWEAP and PAsmart, the governor is calling for an additional $4 million to help Pennsylvania manufacturers train workers and $6 million to expand career and technical education for adults.

The Bridge Builders Community Foundations (BBCF) has announced that scholarship applications are available for the 2019-2020 school year.  Students planning to attend a post-secondary school are encouraged to apply.

The BBCF offers over 60 scholarships with varieties of criteria.  Some scholarships are designated for students who plan to attend a specific school, have a certain GPA, have been involved in sports or community service, or plan to pursue a specific field of study.  For a complete list of scholarships available, visit the website at The deadline to apply is April 5, 2019.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your guidance counselor or Lauren Lupinacci at 814-677-8687.

Scholarship funds are created by individuals and families to honor or memorialize someone, support students and give back to the community.  BBCF and our donors are committed to supporting students as they continue their education and enhance their workforce development skills.  If you would like to create a scholarship fund, or donate to one of our existing scholarship funds, please contact Trenton Moulin, Executive Director, at 814-677-8687.

In 2018-2019, BBCF awarded over $275,000 in post-secondary scholarships.  In addition, through BBCF’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Access to High Education Program (PATH), additional awards may be available for students attending a college in Pennsylvania who meet financial criteria.

The Bridge Builders Community Foundations has received a notable endowment to finance community programs in Venango County. The Jene and Milton Rosen Charitable Fund, created by their son Neil Rosen (brother of Burt and Bruce Rosen), a native of Oil City.  The endowment was established by an initial gift of approximately $730,000 with a commitment to fund the endowment to $1 million. Milton Rosen was a Oil City High School graduate and was a lawyer for decades in the Oil City region. Jene and Milton were pillars of the Oil City community and were both involved in many community organizations and supported many charities to better their community.  This charitable fund will honor their community legacy by supporting Venango County through academic scholarship, educational opportunities, economic empowerment and community health and wellbeing.

Mr. Rosen Quote:    “I am more than honored to be able to honor my parents with this gift to our community. “

Trenton Moulin, Executive Director of the Bridge Builders Community Foundations, expressed excitement for the fund. “We at the Community Foundation are grateful and encouraged at the generosity that Mr. Rosen has demonstrated in honor of his parents,” Moulin said, adding that as a result of the fund, Jene and Milton Rosen will be honored by a legacy benefiting Venango County  for generations to come. “The Community Foundation is committed to assisting Mr. Rosen and his wishes to make the area that he grew up in a better place to live, learn, work and play for the current and future residents of our area,” Moulin said.

The endowment includes four major areas of focus. The first, the Jene and Milton Rosen Memorial Scholarship Fund, will be a scholarship available to Oil City High School graduates who seek higher education.

An additional focus of the fund will be in education and opportunity programs for local students. This is designed to support Venango County educational needs, including STEM programs, literacy and the arts. The fund will also enrich the educational experience of local students by providing backpack and clothing programs, school field trips and extracurricular possibilities.

Economic empowerment in the Venango County is also an important goal of the endowment, hoping to enrich the independence of the community through its business opportunities. This includes encouraging entrepreneurship and offering financial literacy programs for local business owners, as well as initiatives for better job possibilities for the area’s workforce. The fund will also support programs for working parents, including better access to childcare.

Finally, the fund will support health and wellbeing initiatives. The foundation hopes to improve quality of life for low income and low literacy residents and to offer educational and therapeutic programs for adults with special needs. The fund also aims to support local nonprofits, which provide the community with healthy meals, housing and transportation as well as support for local veterans.   

Neil Rosen is a Venango County native now based in the Pittsburgh area.  This gift marks the first time that the Bridge Builders Foundations has been endowed with more than $1 million in a fiscal year.

According to Moulin, Neil Rosen’s generosity will impact Venango County for years to come. Said Moulin, “It is hard for me as Executive Director to express my gratitude for such a sizable gift.  The impact will be positive, lasting and though we stive to measure our impact the positive outcomes will not always be measurable … I have a favorite Nelson Henderson quote that encompasses this fund very well: ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit,’ and this is exactly what Mr. Rosen is accomplishing with this charitable fund.”

Bridge Builders Community Foundations (BBCF), the community foundation serving Clarion, Forest, Venango, and Jefferson counties, will award over $250,000 in college scholarships to local students for the 2018-19 school year.


“These scholarships would not be possible without the many generous donors who established a scholarship or have given to these scholarships over the years. Their generosity cannot be overstated.” Moulin continued: “Each year, we receive hundreds of excellent applications–it makes it difficult to choose, but it is a demonstration of the talented and dedicated students in our area.” said Trenton Moulin, Executive Director of BBCF. “We are proud of these local students and honored to be able to carry out the donors wishes and assist these students as they go on to further their education and equip themselves to be lifelong learners.”


The students receiving scholarships graduated from Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Brockway, Brookville, Clarion, Cranberry, Forest County, Franklin, Keystone, Oil City, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Rocky Grove, and Titusville school districts. A total of 181 scholarships will be given out and all are funds and endowments that have been created through Bridge Builders Community Foundations.


The following students will be receiving scholarships:


519Strong-Jeremy Coast Memorial Scholarship

Natalie Barcinas
Elizabeth Kiefer
Emily   Luther
Jeremy Troup


Adam Weeter Memorial Scholarship
Jessica Cotton


Alexander Bud Marks Scholarship
Dajere Harris


Anna M. Ewalt Memorial Scholarship
Emily Steigerwald


Anna Marie (Lanzendorfer) Jordan, RN, Nursing & Healthcare Professions Scholarship
Kristin Lowmaster


Arthur (Bud) Van Nort Memorial Scholarship
Emily Everett


Bracken Scholarship

Jenna Breth


Chester A. & Beulah A. Baum Memorial Scholarship

Natalie Barcinas

Zachary Beichner

Tifany  Berry

Trevin  Chittester

Lauren Conkle

Abigail Cowles

Cheyanne Crispin

Morgan Cross

Elizabeth Dailey

Taylor  Dailey

Hannah Duncan

Grace Ecklund

Gabrielle Garmong

Ian Hepler

Ember Hockman

Jenna Huegel

Emily Irwin

Hope Johnson

Elizabeth Kiefer

Erin Merryman

Oleksandr Pryimuk-Pearsall

Rachel Root

Jayne Wolbert

Kaila Yashinski

Kelsey Ziegler

Kera Zimmerman


David W. Humphrey Scholarship
Nicholas Cherico

Hannah Frederick

Spencer Miller


Dustin A. Fletcher Memorial Scholarship
Debilea Chapel


Eugene F. Hanna Scholarship

Emily Jones

Emily Luther

Emily Steigerwald

Adam Taylor

Tyler Weiss


Floyd E. and Anna E. Carbaugh Memorial Scholarship
Emily Everett

Samantha Stoltz


Forest County Taxpayers Association Scholarship
Emily Everett


Francis E. Gibbons Memorial Scholarship
Drew Martin


Francis Jones Weber Scholarship
Sheila Roos


Franklin High School Alumni Scholarship

Quincy Adams

Taylor  Aylesworth

Loren Baseler

Alexandra Emrick

Kurtis  Hingl

Alex Huff

Tyra McGarvie

Chelsea McKenzie

Becca Spencer

Adam Taylor


Franklin Rotary – Jay French Miller Scholarship
Zane Baughman

Matthew Heasley

Justin Heller

Maria Kleck

Zachary Lyons

Drew Martin


George Francis Rouault Memorial Scholarship
Hayley Byers


Grace Woods Nellis Scholarship
Hannah Young


Gwendolyn Smith Scholarship
Dakota Hetrick


  1. Bowman Proper Memorial Scholarship

Steven Barnett

Seth Berlin

Aimee  Haslet

Ben Kaltenbach

Bryant Niederriter

Lorraine Pedersen

Rachel Stubler

Danielle West-Habjanetz

Kaitlinn Young


Janet L. Henc Scholarship
Haley Karns

Elizabeth Dailey


James D. Schwab PhD Scholarship
Hannah Kapp


Jean Lucille Frank Scholarship
Truman Littler


Jefferson County 4-H Scholarship

Megan Snyder

Amberley Spicher

Staci Wolfe


Jensin Michael Potts Scholarship
Ashley Finch

Caden  Highfield

Jordan Long


John R. Loeffler Memorial Golf Scholarship

Zachary Lyons

Kayla McCandless


Kami Dinger Memorial Scholarship
Kendra Gadley


Kinnear West Forest Scholarship

Seth Berlin

Aimee  Haslet


Margery Himes Memorial Scholarship
Madeline Boyle

Debilea Chapel

Hannah Frederick

Emily   Gourley

Bryan  Layton


Marsha Beichner Memorial Scholarship
Samantha Stoltz


Mary E. Shaner Scholarship
Taylor  Geer


Nicholas R. Sanford Memorial Journalism Scholarship

Alyssa Nardozzi

Cassondralee Schwalm


Nicholas R. Sanford Memorial Scholarship
Gabrielle Garmong


Oil City Mayor’s Scholarship
Truman Littler


Paul and Ellen Flickner Girls Basketball Scholarship

Alyssa Beichner

Danica Hurrelbrink

Madison Winger

Abbigail Yeager


Roy E. Sanner Memorial Scholarship
Tifany  Berry

Kylynn Boley

Trevin  Chittester

Justin Heller


Ruth Persons Bear and Robert H. Bear Memorial Scholarship
Emily Steigerwald


Ruth and Vernon Taylor Scholarship
Bryant Niederriter


Scotty Bashline Memorial Scholarship
Jessica Cotton


Sherman Memorial Scholarship

Brooke Black

Bryant Niederriter


Susan L. Daniels Memorial Scholarship
Matthew Heasley

Maria Kleck


Susie McConnell Memorial Scholarship

Truman Littler

Jasmine Long


Thomas D. Fulton Memorial Scholarship
Bryant Niederriter


Thomas E. McNamara Scholarship
Kaitlinn Young


Troopers Patterson & Richey Memorial Scholarship

Grace Ecklund

Ryan Sines


Tut Toth Memorial Scholarship
Dakota Hetrick
Bryan Layton
Kaia Rearick
Jeremy Troup


Venus Telephone Corporation Scholarship

Hannah Duncan
Jenna Huegel
Elizabeth Kiefer
Erin Merryman


Vera A. Lamey Scholarship
Lillian Anthony

Debilea Chapel

Ivy Chen

Brentley Moffett

Destiny Weiser


Virginia Gordon Russell Scholarship
Brian Jiang


Walter H. Flinchbaugh Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca Chittester
Ashley Finch
Bethany Hart
Nicholas Howard
Hannah Kapp
Matthew Meehan
Morgan Meehan
Skye Mitchell
Alexia ONeil
Benjamin Orrvick
Kylie Shaffer
Samuel Weaver
Matthew Weaver
Kelsey Ziegler


Washington Township Community Association Scholarship
Grace   Ecklund
Erin Merryman


Will Fabry Memorial Scholarship

Emmalie Dickey
Jessika Lindsey
Alyssa Nardozzi


William H. Locke Scholarship
Lillian  Anthony
Haley Bechtel
Peyton Bontz
Debilea Chapel
Ivy Chen
Caroline Deeter
Caden  Highfield
Amber Horner
Megan Hudson
Rhiannon Kenniston
Jillian Kutchravy
Madison Lawrie
AnneFrances   Lenze
Truman Littler
Jenna Loll
Jordan Long
Benjamin Mizerak
Brentley Moffett
Justin Moffett
Maggie Motter
Hannah Schettler
Destiny Weiser
Lauren Womer


Young Wood Scholarship

Chelsea McKenzie

The scholarship application process begins each year in January and ends in April, and awardees are chosen based on criteria of each scholarship.

“Our vision is to provide an effective way of serving donors and communities by creating and growing endowments that serve the needs in our area,” said Moulin. “Distributing these scholarships is not just about providing funds to students to pay for college, it’s an opportunity to empower young people–the future workforce and leaders of our community.  We believe this is what the donors intended when they established these scholarships”

Bridge Builders Community Foundations has its main office in the Historic National Transit Building in Oil City. The community Foundation was created in 1975 to unify the community foundations serving Clarion, Forest, Venango, Jefferson and other adjacent counties and provide an effective way of serving donors and communities by creating and growing endowments that serve the needs in our area.


The Second Annual Week of Giving has begun and Northwest Bank is once again supporting this event as the Lead Partner in Giving.

“Thanks to the generosity of Northwest Bank, we were able to match $20,000 during last year’s Week of Giving,” said Trenton Moulin, executive director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations (BBCF). “We look forward to having them on board again, as we prepare for an even more successful week of philanthropy in our region.”

Additionally this year, BBCF welcomes the Paul & Ellen Flickner Charitable Fund as the Legacy Sponsor and Erie Insurance as a Community Leader Sponsor. The total of matching funds for this year’s event is $40,000.

BBCF has seen a significant increase in participants this year, with more than 125 local nonprofits and funds in a variety of categories signed up.

Week of Giving prizes will be offered during the week, in which two $100 prizes will be awarded for one small and one large organization each day. These prizes will be live from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the organization who brings in the most unique online donations during those two hour time periods will receive an additional $100 donation.  There also will be one prize sponsored by Baytree Farm,of Emlenton, that will give the nonprofit with the most unique online gifts for the duration of the whole Week of Giving an extra $500.

“This is truly a community effort, with local businesses, nonprofits, and community members all coming together,” said Moulin. “Not only are we supporting local organizations through donations, but we’re spreading the message of the importance of giving. Creating and cultivating a culture of giving in our area is a main goal of the Community Foundation.”

Contributions can be seen in real time this year, allowing the community to watch live as organizations raise money. Giving began at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 19, and ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 23. To learn more about the Week of Giving and for a listing of participating nonprofits, visit

Multiple libraries will be participating in this year’s Week of Giving from throughout the region.

In addition to offering common library services, such as book rental and computer usage, libraries have truly become community centers, providing a variety of print resources, numerous digital databases, meeting spaces, events, programming, and even equipment rental, such as metal detectors and eReaders.

Libraries participating include:

Clarion Free Library
Cooperstown Public Library
Foxburg Free Library
Franklin Public Library
Knox Public Library
Marienville Area Library
Oil City Library
Punxsutawney Memorial Library

Hosted by Bridge Builders Community Foundations, the Week of Giving begins on March 19 and will run through March 23. Donations can be given by visiting, where a live feed of contributions can also be accessed during the week.

Updates during the Week of Giving can be found on the Bridge Builders Community Foundations Facebook page, too, at