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FLCC opens Sands Family Center for Allied Health 

Finger Lakes Community College celebrated on Thursday the opening of the $7.2 million Sands Family Center for Allied Health, a renovation and expansion of its nursing wing on the main campus. 

Caption: FLCC nursing exterior Photo by Tim Wilkes The Sands Family Center for Allied Health is an expansion and renovation of the Finger Lakes Community College nursing education wing.
The Sands Family Center for Allied Health is an expansion and renovation of the Finger Lakes Community College nursing education wing. (Photo credit: Tim Wilkes)

With the expansion, the college will accept new students in both the fall and spring semesters.  The application for the spring 2023 semester is currently open through Oct. 15. FLCC will also launch a licensed practical nursing program, starting in fall 2023. 

“The Sands Family Center for Allied Health reflects a true team effort among the Sands Family Foundation, Thompson Health, Ontario County and the college,” said FLCC President Robert Nye. “We were united in our mission to fill a critical community need for nurses at our hospitals, medical offices and skilled nursing facilities.” 

Richard Sands, representing the Sands Family Foundation, joined college and community leaders for the ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Sands Family Foundation contributed $3 million to the project. 

“As important as today’s ribbon-cutting is, I am already thinking about the impact this center will have on our community,” Sands said. “Five years from now, hundreds of students will have passed through these halls and taken their places in our medical facilities where their compassion and skills are so needed.” 

In addition to the Sands Family Foundation donation, the FLCC Student Corp. contributed $250,000; the FLCC Association, $200,000 and the FLCC Foundation, $200,000. New York State provided $3.6 million in matching funds to all the private contributions. Thompson Health will contribute an instructor for the licensed practical nursing program.

The Sands Family Center for Allied Health features murals of nature images taken by Sophie Parshall, president of the FLCC Student Corporation.
The Sands Family Center for Allied Health features murals of nature images taken by Sophie Parshall, president of the FLCC Student Corp. (Photo credit: Tim Wilkes)

The project began with a renovation of existing space to add enhanced simulation labs. The expansion added an additional simulation lab and more patient bays to serve an increasing student population. 

The new facilities complement a revised curriculum that focuses on clinical judgment and critical thinking, college officials said.  

After the work began, the college received a $1.5 million state workforce development grant to add an additional science lab by mid-2023.

Ontario County, the local government sponsor of FLCC, hired PLAN Architectural Studio of Rochester to provide architectural and engineering services and LeChase Construction Services of Rochester to provide construction management. The county awarded the general contracting bid to G.M. Crisalli & Associates of Syracuse, the electrical bid to Connors-Haas of Ontario and the plumbing bid to Postler & Jaeckle Corp of Rochester. 

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Mercy Flight Central receives $1 million donation, buys four new helicopters

Mercy Flight Central has purchased four Leonardo AW119Kx helicopters like the one shown here. (C7 Photography)
Mercy Flight Central has purchased four Leonardo AW119Kx helicopters like the one shown here. (C7 Photography)

Mercy Flight Central has received a $1 million donation from the Sands Family Foundation as the lead gift for its $5 million Mercy Flight Central Campaign for the Community.

The campaign will help support the agency’s new fleet of four AW119Kx helicopters, which will replace four older helicopters Mercy Flight had been using. At its biennial fundraising gala “Taste for the Race” held in early August, the organization raised some $300,000 toward the campaign.

“Mercy Flight Central is proud to have served this region for nearly three decades, and we are thrilled to announce the purchase of four new IFR-certified AW119Kx helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters,” said Jeff Bartkoski, president and CEO of Mercy Flight Central. “These helicopters will replace our aging fleet, which is costly to maintain and repair. This investment in new aircraft represents a recommitment to the community. We provide service to more than 3 million residents in over 24 counties from our bases in Canandaigua, Marcellus and Rome, N.Y. This new AW119Kx will enable us to continue our life-saving mission for the next three decades with increased safety and efficiency.”

Leonardo Helicopters attended the “Taste for the Race” event and brought its training aircraft so that guests could view the new helicopter.

Ginny Clark, executive director of the Sands Family Foundation, created “Taste for the Race” with NASCAR team owner Richard Childress in 2004. Clark’s family history is deeply entwined with that of Mercy Flight Central. Her daughter, Shaunna, was air lifted by Mercy Flight Central 28 years ago and was its first pediatric patient. When Clark shared Shaunna’s story with her friend Childress, he offered his help to raise money for Mercy Flight Central, and “Taste for the Race” was born.

“Although Shaunna’s accident happened years ago, Mercy Flight Central will always be a cause close to my heart and it brings me great joy to see so many people join together for the cause,” Clark said. “Our family will be forever grateful to Mercy Flight Central for their speed, skill and compassion when our family needed it most.”

Built at Leonardo’s FAA Part 21 production facility in Philadelphia, the AW119 is a best-in-class single engine helicopter featuring a state-of-the-art avionics system for enhanced situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety by flight and mission avionics, power margin, multiple system redundancies and crashworthiness.

“This community and our friends at Mercy Flight Central are important to us in the NASCAR racing family,” Childress said. “I am personally honored to support ‘Taste for the Race.’”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Foodlink receives grant from Sands Family Foundation

Foodlink Inc. has been awarded a multi-year grant from the Sands Family Foundation Generation 3 Philanthropy Project (G3PP) to support its Curbside Market, a mobile farmers market that visits and distributes food to underserved communities across the Rochester region.

The grant will support key staffing needs for the market and will allow for the addition of a new vehicle to the Curbside Market fleet. The grant amount was not disclosed.

Julia Tedesco
Julia Tedesco

“The Sands Family Foundation has shown repeatedly that it truly cares about the health of our region, particularly in low-income communities where diet-related illnesses are most prevalent,” said Foodlink President and CEO Julia Tedesco. “The Curbside Market continues to evolve to meet the needs of Rochester-area residents seeking fresh, affordable foods and will be critical to rebuilding community health as our area recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Curbside Market was launched in 2013 and primarily sells fresh fruits and vegetables. It strives to make the healthy choice the easy choice for thousands of customers in the Rochester region.

Although it began with one vehicle and seasonal routes in the city of Rochester, the market now operates year-round with multiple routes in Rochester, Monroe County and five other counties in Foodlink’s service area, officials noted.

“As our grandfather, Marvin, would say, ‘While we can’t save the world, we can make a difference in our community,’” said G3PP Co-Chair Lauren Sands.

Customers who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can purchase twice as much produce through the Double Up Food Bucks incentive program. Later this year, Foodlink hopes to diversify its inventory once it is approved to sell items for another federal nutrition program, Women, Infants & Children (WIC).

This latest grant is the second that Sands Family Foundation G3PP has awarded to Foodlink’s Curbside Market. A prior grant in 2018-19 allowed the market to add critical staff and expand its operating hours to evenings and weekends.

“Our family is proud to support Foodlink’s efforts to meet our community’s need for fresh, affordable foods with its Curbside Market,” said G3PP Co-Chair Ashly Sands-O’Winter.

The Curbside Market temporarily had to suspend its operations in mid-March because of COVID-19. The market reopened with a limited schedule in July.

“We look forward to learning with our partners and customers about how to continue to best serve them, and will begin to ramp up our schedule when it is safe and appropriate to do so,” Tedesco said.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Sands Family Foundation gives $3 million to double nursing program at FLCC

The Sands Family Foundation is giving $3 million to Finger Lakes Community College, providing the largest gift in that institution’s history and enabling the college to double its nursing program.

The gift is expected to cover almost half the cost of an expanded nursing wing on the FLCC main campus in Canandaigua, and allow the college to eventually double its enrollment to 80 new students in the registered nursing associate degree program each fall. FLCC will also launch a licensed practical nursing certificate that can be completed in a year. That program could offer as many as 56 LPN openings.

“Nurses provide the foundation for the excellent health care we enjoy in the Finger Lakes region,” said FLCC President Robert Nye. “We are grateful to the Sands Family Foundation for its significant investment in the people who will maintain that high level of care for years to come.”

The college and the foundation announced the gift Thursday morning.

“Medical institutions play a major role in the social and economic vitality of communities. The Sands family is proud to support FLCC’s efforts in elevating their nursing program to attract more nurses who will support our excellent hospitals in our surrounding communities,” said Richard Sands, co-chairman of the Sands Family Foundation.

 Thompson Health will partner with the community college to provide instruction for the nursing students, who are in high demand.

According to the NY State Labor Department, the need for registered nurses in the Finger Lakes region will rise to 15,660 by 2026, an increase of 18.2 percent  in a decade.

“We are looking forward to being able to say yes to many more of our applicants, starting in 2021. This means more students finding good jobs when they finish here,” Nye said.

Construction of the new Sands Center for Allied Health at FLCC is expected to begin in 2021 with part of the center opening that fall. The remainder will be completed throughout the 2021-22 school year. The wing will include a lab, patient bays, classrooms, meeting rooms and faculty offices. A health and wellness center for students will also be included.

The Ontario Board of Supervisors was scheduled to amend its capital plans Thursday  night to include the $6.8 million college wing. Additional funding will come from the FLCC Student Corp. ($250,000,) the FLCC Association ($200,000,) and the state ($3.4 million.)

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Sands family offers $1 million challenge to complete Harley fundraising campaign

The Sands Family Foundation has issued a $1 million challenge to close the Harley School’s $12 million “Lives of Great Purpose” fundraising campaign.

The school and members of the Sands family – two cousins representing the second generation to attend the school, and parents of current students – announced the challenge grant Monday. The foundation last year promised $3 million to the campaign that was kicked off in 2017, the school’s centenary year.

So far the school has raised more than $10 million.

The Sands donations and the $1 million the school expects to raise through the challenge grant will be dedicated to an endowment to support faculty.

With a $1 million challenge grant from the Sands Family Foundation, Harley expects to close its $12 million fundraising campaign by June. RBJ Photo by Diana Louise Carter
With a $1 million challenge grant from the Sands Family Foundation, Harley expects to close its $12 million fundraising campaign by June. (RBJ Photo by Diana Louise Carter)

“Everything you see on this campus is a result of philanthropy,” said Head of School Larry Frye, noting that independent schools do not receive government or church funding.

Other monies have helped in construction of three new facilities at the school – The Peckham Wellness Center, the Moore/Brown Center for Creative Media, and the Winslow Natural Playground & Outdoor Learning Center, all of which opened during the last school year.

Courtney Winslow, daughter of Constellation Brands Executive Vice Chairman Richard Sands, said the school has reached 84 percent of its fundraising goal, and once another $1 million is raised, the Sand Foundation will match that to complete the campaign by the school year’s end.

Her cousin, Abby Stern Bennett, daughter of the late Laurie Sands (Richard Sands’ and Robert Sands’ sister,) said it was fitting that the family’s gifts will support faculty at the school, where she found a second family as a student. “My teachers nurtured me, they challenge me, they celebrated me,” she said.

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Former Constellation executive to speak at FLCC graduation

Ginny Clark, executive director of the Sands Family Foundation, will be the commencement speaker for Finger Lakes Community College on May 18.

Ginny Clark
Ginny Clark

Clark recently retired as vice president for Constellation Brands, the global beverage company started by the Sands family. She had a 20-year career with Constellation, serving as vice president of corporate communications and of external affairs during her time there.

Working for Constellation, Clark spearheaded some of its philanthropic efforts, such as the loan of company corporate jets to bring workers from InterVol, a humanitarian organization, to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and a $5 million capital campaign for Mercy Flight Central. She also oversaw construction of the NY Kitchen, and the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center on the FLCC campus.  She remains the president of the boards of directors for both those organizations.

Clark is a community college graduate, having earned an associate’s degree from Herkimer County Community College. She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Information about the commencement ceremonies is on the FLCC website.

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Sands family gives historic gift to Harley

The Sands Family Foundation has given The Harley School a $3 million donation, representing the largest gift in the school’s 100-year history, and paving the way for more competitive teachers’ salaries.

harley100logoThe Sands family, which owns and operates Constellation Brands, has a three-generation connection with the school, with Constellation’s chairman and CEO, Richard and Robert Sands, having both attended the school.

“We are proud to have such successful and dedicated alumni, and thank the Sands family for their historic support of The Harley School,” said Ward Ghory, Harley’s head of school.

Ghory announced the gift to faculty Monday afternoon. The gift will go into an endowment that will allow Harley to pay for increasing faculty compensation by 10 percent over routine annual increases in the next four years.

“Historically, private, independent schools have not been unionized, so they have not had the same levels of pay,” Ghory said. “Faculty are the lifeblood to the school. We want to be a destination where faculty can come because they can do their best work here. We want them to stay.”

The school, at 1981 Clover St. in Brighton, has 518 students in grades nursery through grade 12, and approximately 75 faculty members.

“These educators provide students with the necessary academic foundation to face the challenges of a rapidly evolving world,” said Robert Sands in a statement announcing the donation. “This gift will support them in continuing to inspire and prepare students to become the next generation of leaders.”

Added Courtney Sands Winslow, “… the work of educating children is deeply personal, requiring both commitment and strength of character to honor and inspire each of student in their own, meaningful way. The Harley School does this important work so well; today the Sands family would like to recognize the School’s faculty.”

Ghory said the gift is part of a multi-prong approach to invest in faculty. “We need teachers who are not only subject-matter experts but have high social-emotional intelligence and are able to connect with kids.”

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