We hope you enjoy our Storytelling Series highlighting the people, places, and organizations positively impacted by Erie’s local share gaming revenue. If you want to learn more about how ECGRA Grant Money Works in Erie County, check out our map here or dive into our annual report. If you are a member of the media and would like to discuss a story, please contact Kate Philips at 215-850-4647. If you have a general question, call 814-897-2690. 

December 6, 2016: ECGRA Grant Money Works for Edinboro University and Foundation

Posted on December 6th, 2016 at 11:40 AM
December 6, 2016: ECGRA Grant Money Works for Edinboro University and Foundation

ECGRA Grant Money Works
for Edinboro University and Foundation 

Culture and education are rich in this rural community
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s educational mission and service extends beyond its campus, and using local share gaming revenue granted from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, the university has expanded its community outreach throughout northwest Pennsylvania and beyond.

For the past three years, Edinboro University Foundation has received ECGRA Special Events and Community Assets grants for the annual Highland Games, a festival going into its 25th year, according to Julie Chacona, the foundation’s development director. 

For 2016, Edinboro received $11,448 for the Highland Games and has received a total of $33,384 since first being funded in 2013. Previously held in May or during summer, the festival has been moved to September so more students can take part, Chacona says. Similar to Erie’s other ethnic festivals, Highland Games is educational, as well as entertaining.

“This is such a wonderful cultural event, not only for our students and Edinboro residents, but it reaches into the community well outside our geographic region,” she says. “We bring in the (Scottish) clans, traditional sporting events, the Highland dancer competition, and the traditional procession of the haggis and Ceilidh dinner, which is very traditional in Scotland,” she says.


The Foundation has also used gaming revenue to enhance the university’s homecoming festivities in October by adding free concerts and lectures open to the public. The event “is really our biggest weekend festival. It’s not just about our alumni coming back and celebrating our Scottish heritage. It's also an academic showcase highlighting our centers of excellence on campus," Chacona says.

Past homecoming speakers have included Erin Gruwell, the teacher who compiled the diaries kept by her at-risk students for her book, "Freedom Writers." In 2014, environmentalist Bill McKibben spoke, and in 2015, the Erie Philharmonic performed.

For 2016, the university sponsored Scott Talks, a takeoff on the TEDx format. “We brought in really successful alumni who are at the top of their games in the business. That was very well received,” she says.
Edinboro is also in a unique position to serve the communication needs of southern Erie County. In September 2014, Edinboro received a Community Assets Grant of $9,900 from ECGRA for the Boro 24/7: Campus and Community Media Partnership Initiative--just one of a total of $19,000 in grants the Foundation has been granted.

Using gaming funds, the university transformed campus media organizations by providing real-world experience for students, developing an independent funding model for the organizations, and creating a common portal, www.EdinboroNow.com, with content from E-TV, the campus cable television station; WFSE-FM, the campus radio station; and the Spectator, the campus newspaper.


"Pennsylvania State government is currently making decisions about the future of the gaming industry without advocacy or input from groups like ours and counties like ours. ECGRA will not stand for Erie County to lose these important economic development dollars. Join our efforts as we work with the Erie County delegation, staffers in Harrisburg, and the Assembly’s leadership to protect local share gaming revenue." 
-Perry Wood, ECGRA Executive Director
If you represent a nonprofit, local government, or economic development project that has received funding or if you are a resident who has attended a special event, enjoyed our Lead Assets, or has benefited from gaming revenue in some way, please message your legislators today. Contact information and template letters can be found at www.ECGRA.org/calltoaction.
 dianek@ECGRA.org | 814-897-2690 | 5340 Fryling Road, Suite 201, Erie, Pa