The West Mountain Mission Fund Makes Generous Donation to the Pawling Resource Center

Posted on Dec 30, 2014

The Pawling resource Center is grateful to the West Mountain Mission Fund for a generous donation to  support upgrades of essential office equipment and a donor database.

The West Mountain Mission was incorporated in 1906 for educational, charitable and religious purposes, with the intent to “uplift and assist people of the neighborhood….” Albert C. Burdick, the first spiritual leader, established the West Mountain Mission as an Episcopal outreach in the needy community of West Pawling, near the intersection of present day Old Route 55 and Route 55. The mission’s early activities included a day school, Sunday and mid-week prayer services, and classes on gardening and music. Assisted with funding from the Quaker Hill community, the mission grew, and the support it provided in the community attracted volunteers and donations of clothing and money. A fund was established by Cornelia Akin Taylor, which became the major source of income for Mission activities. Miss Lelia Martin donated a trio of stained glass windows featuring the words HOPE and FAITH, and additional donations allowed the center to expand. The center furthered the work of local artists, sponsoring an annual art exhibit, until 1942. There were Easter, Christmas and Harvest celebrations, holiday and regular distributions of clothes and food, visitations to the sick, meals provided on Sundays, a choir, and a girls club for quilting and weaving.

Through World War II the mission continued its work in the community, but the need for costly repairs to the mission and the inability to adequately support the staff led to discussion of its closing. Though the activities continued through 1951, when Mr. Burdick passed away, the property was subsequently sold and a trust fund was created to “be disbursed for scholarships, churches or other charities…”

The West Mountain Mission Fund has been administered by the Community Foundation since 2008. Their generosity of spirit helps purchase equipment and further the missions of the organizations they support. In the case of the Pawling Resource Center, their funding assisted with its start-up in 1976. This year, funds will support the purchase of copying and printing equipment, and software upgrades. The similarities in community outreach and support between the early West Mountain Mission and the present Pawling Resource Center are notable and make this a particularly apt partnership.

Roger Smith, President of the West Mountain Mission Fund for 35+ years, is handing over the reins to Ron Wozniak, who has been a trustee for 40 years. Other members of the present board are Liz Allen, Glen Carey, Shelly Piazza, and Judith Collette.

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L to R: Roger Smith, retiring WMMF Board President; Terry Ariano, PRC Program Coordinator;  Rev. Jon Ellingworth, PRC Board President; and Ron Wozniak, incoming WMMF Board President.

L to R: Roger Smith, retiring WMMF Board President; Terry Ariano, PRC Program Coordinator; Rev. Jon Ellingworth, PRC Board President; and Ron Wozniak, incoming WMMF Board President.