Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Greater Utica Division of The American Heart Association has awarded seven local organizations Community Impact Grants. Board President, Dr. Frank Dubeck says the grants are aimed at reducing childhood obesity in Oneida County. He said, "Most of these [Grants] are focusing on children, hopefully they're still teachable and if we can teach them healthy lifestyle habits now--right now they're not getting it--and that's part of the childhood obesity epidemic that we're facing. So, if we can expose them to things--and even if only 15-percent of them take--that's still 15-percent we don't have to worry about getting bypass or things like that."

Dubeck said although working with changing behavior is difficult organizations are still willing to undertake the work to try and make an impact on the lives of area young people, especially those in rural communities who don't always have access to programs and social service providers.

For the next two years, the local chapter will receive $25,000 annually, which will provide grant funding for community-based organizations with the mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Organizations that received funding are:

  • Richfield Springs Community Center for its Move It Program
  • Bassett HealthCare Network for its Mileage Club Program
  • Revolutionary Trails Council Inc. BSA for its ScoutReach Program
  • Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare Foundation for its CPR-Share the Knowledge Program
  • CNY-BMX Parent's Council for its Bridgewater Pump Track Program
  • Pathfinder Village Foundation for its Clark Sports Center Memberships Program
  • Cornerstone Community Church for its Oneida Square Community Garden

Organizations interested in applying for a 2011-2012 grant are encouraged to contact the local chapter of the American Heart Association at (315) 266-5403. Applications can also be picked up at 120 Lomond Court, Utica, NY 13502. To learn more about the organization visit www.americanheart.org.