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A $77K boost for Things of My Very Own

Things of My Very Own, Inc. recently received a $77,000 grant from the Edward D. Cammarota Foundation. The funds will be used to further the Schenectady-based nonprofit's mission, which is to provide crisis intervention services to abused, neglected and at-risk children.

The Daily Gazette profiled the organization in November as it struggled to stay afloat. Founder and CEO Rayn Boncie started Things of My Very Own in 2008. Today, it provides crisis intervention services across a 12-county area to children who have experienced extensive abuse or neglect or are in at-risk situations. The abuse runs the spectrum, from black-and-white cases like rape to gray cases like the single mother who can’t afford to buy infant formula one week or school supplies each year. Regardless, the nonprofit’s main task is to intervene once it gets a referral and tide that child over until it reaches a safer, more stable situation.

"We are very excited to have the support of the Edward D. Commarota Foundation and look forward to expanding our programs to better serve those in crisis situations," said Boncie.

Edward D. Cammarota lived his entire life in Schenectady and was the oldest of four children born to Italian immigrants. He graduated from Union College in 1937 with a civil engineering degree. During World War II, he went to New Jersey to help build dry docks. When the war ended, he returned to Schenectady and began a construction business that built many of the roads in the area.

Cammarota designed, built and ran the Colonie Tennis Club. His business went on to become a major developer in the area.

"Edward had a tough exterior but he was a softie," said Sandy Hutchinson, president of the foundation's board. "He had a great sense of humor. Ed firmly believed that education was the key to his success. He loved children and wanted to give those who desired to go to college an opportunity to do so."

To learn more about Things of My Very Own, visit

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