The West Mountain Mission Fund has made a generous donation to the Pawling Resource Center to support upgrades of essential office equipment and a donor database. Pictured here are Roger Smith, retiring WMMF Board President, Terry Ariano, PRC Office and Program Coordinator, Rev. Jon Ellingworth, PRC Board President, and Ron Wozniak, incoming WMMF Board President, who met to discuss the donation on December 24, 2014.
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 activities included a day school, Sunday and mid-week prayer services, and classes on gardening and music, annual art exhibitions, and a girls club for quilting and weaving.
The mission suffered for lack of adequate funding after World War II, and closed by 1951, when 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.
The Pawling Resource Center, whose mission of “Neighbor’s helping Neighbors” provides services to people in need in the Pawling community. The Center, located at 126 E. Main Street in the village of Pawling, provides food pantry distributions, rides to medical appointments, referrals to social services and loans of medical equipment.
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.