Rochester skyline

In the News

Welcome to the News Page! In an effort to honor the successes of our grantees and keep the community informed of our initiatives, we will be updating this page to let you know about our latest grants, notable milestones, and other news.

Student uses smart phone to interview other student.

Grantee News: Suburban students travel to Black colleges: 'Now I can see it for myself'

March 24, 2023 via Democrat & Chronicle - Hannah Douglass wasn't certain she wanted to attend college after graduating from Fairport High School. Mostly she was resigned to it, she said, because it was important to her mother.

Grantee News: Arc of Monroe awarded funds to support its Aging with Grace, Aging in Place campaign

May 4, 2022 via Rochester Business Journal - The Arc Foundation of Monroe was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the William & Sheila Konar Foundation to help fund the construction of two ranch-style, fully accessible 7-bedroom homes.

Grantee News: Borinquen Dance Theatre marks 40th anniversary

November 5, 2021 via WXXI - A local dance company that not only trains young dancers but provides them with a deeper connection to the Rochester community is celebrating a milestone this weekend.

Foundation News: Remembering Rochester philanthropist Sheila Konar

October 21, 2021 via WXXI - A well–known local philanthropist is being remembered for her devotion to the Rochester community, and to supporting education about the Holocaust. Sheila Konar died last Saturday at the age of 87.

Get A Shot, Get $100 At Some Monroe County Vaccination Clinics

Foundation News: Get a shot, get $100 at some Monroe County vaccination clinics

September 16, 2021 via City - In an attempt to persuade thousands of unvaccinated people in the Rochester area to get inoculated against COVID-19, county health officials and philanthropic leaders are offering their largest incentive to date — $100 gift cards.

Data Released Shows The COVID 19 Vaccination Rate Is Increasing In Rochester

Foundation News: Data released shows the COVID-19 vaccination rate is increasing in Rochester

September 16, 2021 via Finger Lakes 1 - Data collected from community outreach initiatives and pop-up clinics are showing a positive impact on the Rochester population and their COVID-19 vaccine rates. More than 50% of the eligible population in every Rochester city ZIP code has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, community leaders announced.

Half Of Eligible Rochester Residents Have Received COVID Vaccine

Foundation News: Half of eligible Rochester residents have received COVID vaccine

September 16, 2021 via Genesee Sun - More than 50% of the eligible population in every Rochester city ZIP code has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, community leaders announced today.

Foundation News: $100 gift cards being given to newly-vaccinated people through end of September

September 16, 2021 via News 10 - Organizations in Rochester are teaming up to offer people $100 gift cards as a reward for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Foundation News: Newly Vaccinated People to Receive a $100 Gift Card

September 16, 2021 via Genesee Sun - Now through September 30, people who receive their first does at participating clinic in Rochester are eligible to receive a $100 that you gift card.

Foundation News: Food pantries open at several city schools

June 28, 2021 via Rochester Business Journal - A $20,000 grant from the William & Sheila Konar Foundation has enabled seven Rochester City School District schools to open food pantries.

Foundation News: $1 million awarded to take COVID-19 vaccine outreach ‘to the streets’

June 28, 2021 via WXXI News - A grant of $1 million dollars is headed to the Finger Lakes COVID-19 vaccination program. The money comes from the various foundations, businesses and nonprofits.

Foundation News: Finger Lakes vaccination effort receives $1 million boost from local groups

June 28, 2021 via 13WHAM - The Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccination Program is getting a major boost thanks to the United Way of Greater Rochester and other organizations.

Foundation News: RCSD opens new food pantry at Edison Tech

June 21, 2021 via 13 WHAM - The Rochester City School District marked the opening of a new food pantry at one of its schools. The William & Sheila Konar Foundation gave $20,000 to the district to buy refrigerators, shelving, bins and food for six school-based pantries.

Foundation News: Cameron Community Ministries tapped as Children's Defense Fund Freedom School

April 13, 2021 via Democrat & Chronicle - Every year, Cameron Community Ministries hosts summer enrichment programs for Rochester youth. What makes this year different is that this summer Cameron Community Ministries is hosting a Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School.

Foundation News: Carthage College receives $150,000 grant for Urban Teacher Preparation Program

April 7, 2021 via The Journal Times - Carthage College has received a $150,000 grant from the William & Sheila Konar Foundation to grow its Urban Teacher Prep Program (UTPP), a program designed to expand the pool of educators who are equipped and committed to teaching in urban elementary schools.

Foundation News: How three sectors came together to help their community with a new affordable housing model

December 1, 2020 via New York Real Estate Journal - In an effort to address some of the many issues found at Affordable Housing complexes in our country, as well as to help find homes for those in need of affordable housing in our community, a unique and innovative partnership was formed.

Foundation News: 2020 Fall Funders Convening Keynote: Grantmaker Reflections

October 22, 2020 via NY Funders Alliance - Kudos are extended to our organizational leaders for a thought-provoking conference. I also appreciate the opportunity to give a few remarks in response to the presentation given by Marcus Walton on Monday.

Foundation News: Flower City Arts Center provides craft kits to students

May 27, 2020 via Daily Messenger - The Flower City Arts Center responded to area school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic by developing and assembling 250 art kits for students in grades 3-6.

Foundation News: Rochesterians donate nearly $4 million to Community Crisis Fund

May 4, 2020 via Rochester Business Journal - More than $3.8 million has been raised for the Community Crisis Fund, which was started roughly six weeks ago by the United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. and the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

Foundation News: George Eastman Museum completes environmental improvement project

December 10, 2019 via Rochester First - The George Eastman Museum has completely a project that improves the environment and preserves the photography and technology collections.

Grantee News: Connections, Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

December 2, 2019 via WXXI News - Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Our panel takes an interfaith look at the holiday season, and the ways we communicate with each other.

Foundation News: William and Sheila Konar Foundation Join Museum’s Chairman Circle

October 15, 2019 via United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - The William & Sheila Konar Foundation of Rochester, NY, recently joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Chairman’s Circle.

Foundation News: Adam Interviews Howard Konar

October 24, 2019 via Rochester First - Local developer and philanthropist promotes political pragmatism.

Foundation News: Friendly Senior Living Receives $50,000 Gift from Konar Foundation for Memory Care Programming

August 30, 2019 via Friendly Senior Living - Friendly Senior Living (FSL) has received a $50,000 gift from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation for memory care programming.

Industry News: How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot

September 12, 2019 via Politico - Suriana Rodriguez is only 19, but she’s already lined up a full-time job at IBM. After her junior year in high school, she interned at the tech giant’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y., campus, 20 miles north of her hometown, for $17 an hour.

Industry News: Does Free College Work? Kalamazoo Offers Some Answers

June 28, 2019 via The Wall Street Journal - In 2005, caught in a spiral of urban decay and a falling population, Kalamazoo embarked on a bold experiment to save itself. It would give local students free college tuition.

Industry News: Better Schools Won’t Fix America

July 2019 via The Atlantic - Long ago, I was captivated by a seductively intuitive idea, one many of my wealthy friends still subscribe to: that both poverty and rising inequality are largely consequences of America’s failing education system. Fix that, I believed, and we could cure much of what ails America.

Industry News: Poverty and the ideological imperative: a call to unhook from deficit and grit ideology and to strive for structural ideology in teacher education

August 23, 2016 via Journal of Education for Teaching - ‘Raise your hand,’ I instructed the students, ‘if you believe you have worked hard in your life’.

Grantee News: East High School student credits partnership with U. or R. for helping him graduate

June 26, 2019 via 13WHAM - Graduation now less than 24 hours away for Maurice Coney, III. “This is exciting. Can’t believe this," he says. Opening his cap and gown makes it feel real.

Grantee News: Foodlink fellows complete culinary career program

July 8, 2019 via Daily Messenger - They came to Foodlink in search of opportunity. Now, a year later, eight members of the Foodlink Career Fellowship have graduated with improved culinary skills and hope for what the future holds

Grantee News: Culinary Clash raises $110K for Alzheimer’s research

May 2o, 2019 via Daily Messenger - The Alzheimer’s Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Region, raised almost $110,000 at its fifth annual Culinary Clash, which brought together 400 guests.

Grantee News: Foodlink Career Fellowship

Foodlink - The Foodlink Career Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind culinary training program that creates a pathway to prosperity for individuals with barriers to sustainable employment.

Grantee News: University of Rochester reading program showing promise in RCSD

March 15, 2019 via Democrat & Chronicle - Nora Ephron said, “Reading is bliss” and Frederick Douglass told us, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Foundation News: A $500,000 donation will help Nazareth College expand programs focusing on religious diversity

February 6, 2019 via WXXI News - Nazareth College says it will be able to add to its efforts at promoting religious diversity with a $500,000 grant from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation.

Foundation News: Nazareth College creates Konar Center for Tolerance and Jewish Studies

February 6, 2019 via The Post - Nazareth College is continuing its commitment to religious pluralism with a new gift of $500,000 from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation.

Foundation News: Gift allows Nazareth to add Jewish studies to its interfaith focus

February 6, 2019 via Rochester Business Journal - A gift from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation will create a new center at Nazareth College focusing on tolerance and Jewish Studies.

Foundation News: Nazareth College receives $500K donation for Jewish studies center

February 6, 2019 via WHEC News - A local college is looking to continue its pursuit of religious pluralism following a $500,000 donation.

Foundation News: Museum Receives Grant for Woodbury School Classrooms

January 2, 2019 via Play Time, The Strong National Museum of Play - A grant of $500,000 from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation to assist with the construction of two state-of-the-art classrooms.

Foundation News: Grant from Konar Foundation to expand Woodbury Preschool

November 30, 2018 via Rochester Business Journal - A $500,000 grant from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation will allow the Strong National Museum of Play to increase the number of preschoolers.

Grantee News: Foodlink Career Fellowship’s inaugural class ‘moves up’

October 26, 2018 via The Post - The Foodlink Community Kitchen prepares healthy meals for thousands of children and a healthy future for a small group of adults each day.

Grantee News: The Little's Theater 1 set to reopen this week

October 20, 2018 via WXXI News - The Little Theatre's main Theater 1 will soon be showing movies again, as phase one of its renovation project wraps up.

Grantee News: A day to celebrate ‘Moving Up’ at Foodlink

October 5, 2018 via Foodlink - The inaugural class members of the Foodlink Career Fellowship had more than the weekend to look forward to, as they walked into Foodlink on Friday.

Grantee News: UR/East EPO Partnership Launches Step to College Program

August 2, 2018 via Warner School of Education, University of Rochester - A new college preparatory program created under the University of Rochester’s EPO partnership with East High School aims to prepare Rochester students for admission to two-year and four-year colleges.

Grantee News: Connections- Summer of Food - Discussing the middle skills gap in the food industry

July 19, 2018 via WXXI News - Foodlink has launched a new workforce development program aimed at bridging the middle skills gap in the food industry and helping to reduce poverty in our region.

Foundation News: $2.5 Million Gift from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation Supports Urban Education Success

June 20, 2018 via University of Rochester - The William and Sheila Konar Foundation has made a $2.5 million gift to provide lead support for urban education research.

Grantee News: Report challenges city school district's spending

April 25, 2018 via City Newspaper - For years, the Rochester school district has struggled with financial management issues, both perceived and real.

Grantee News: Ahead of school budget vote, advocates say more stability needed

April 20, 2018 via WXXI News - As the Rochester City School Board prepares to vote on a budget for the next school year, they are facing criticism for their bilingual and special education programs.

Grantee News: 2018 Foodlink Spring Newsletter

May 29, 2018 via Foodlink - A farm-to-school project. An educational and training garden. New community partnerships.

Grantee News: Children's advocacy group wants more transparency in RCSD budget

April 19, 2018 via 13WHAM - The Children's Agenda is recommending the Rochester City School District be more transparent about its 2018-2019 proposed budget.

Grantee News: Borinquen Dance Theatre's Awaken & Rise dedicated to Puerto Rico's hurricane victims

April 6, 2018 via Democrat & Chronicle - Borinquen is the original Taino name for the island of Puerto Rico and many of the dancers have family living on the island.

Grantee News: New website aims to ease applications to Rochester charter schools

January 17, 2018 via WHAMCw - Families in Rochester now have a new tool to apply to charter schools in the area.

Foundation News: Meet 15 Rochesterians you don't know but should

November 21, 2017 via Democrat & Chronicle - Our list represents the wide range of people doing interesting things in our community.

Foundation News: Husband’s Fighting Spirit Inspires Commitment to Cause

Fall 2017 via Aspire Philanthropy Magazine - William “Bill” Konar used to take one look at a map and drive straight to his destination.

Foundation News: From war orphan to altruistic entrepreneur

September 30, 2016 via Rochester Business Journal - A shrewd businessman and investor. A fair and honest boss. A lackluster golfer with a weakness for doughnuts.

Foundation News: Mendelson Appointed to William and Sheila Konar Family Professorship

August 23, 2016 via UR Medicine - The Konar Professorship was created to enhance patient-centered care, especially for the elderly and complex patients.


Fall 2015 via USHMN - Like all Holocaust survivors, William Konar never ceased to be amazed that a Museum devoted to the story of his past would stand forever on America's National Mall.

Foundation News: Once penniless, Konar excelled at business

June 26, 2015 via Rochester Business Journal - A brilliant and largely self-taught businessman, William Konar was decisive.

Foundation News: University Mourns the Death of William B. Konar

June 26, 2015 via UR Medicine - William B. Konar, a respected business leader and philanthropist with a long history of generosity toward the University of Rochester, died June 18, 2015 at the age of 85.

Grantee News: Nazareth College Breaks Ground on New Wellness & Rehabilitation Institute

April 28, 2014 via Nazareth College - Nazareth College ceremoniously broke ground today on the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute (WRI).

Grantee News: WRI Receives Major Gifts

Nazareth College - Nazareth College is proud to announce recent gift commitments of more than $3.4 million to the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute (WRI).

Foundation News: Konar Foundation gives $1.5M for Nazareth College institute

October 24, 2013 via Rochester Buisness Journal - Nazareth College of Rochester has received a $1.5 million gift to renovate the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute.

Foundation News: Gift from William and Sheila Konar Supports Clinical Research on Alzheimer’s Disease

February 8, 2010 via UR Medicine - Clinical research into Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions that cause dementia has taken a giant leap forward at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Foundation News: Everything In History Was Against Them

April 13, 1998 via Fortune Magazine - Success stories have warmed the pages of this magazine since its founding nearly 70 years ago.