Grant from the Shineman Foundation helps drive the Fulton Dream Courts

In support of its Fulton Dream Courts project. Located on the Fulton War Memorial campus, this planned outdoor construction project will dramatically expand the amount of programming offered and number of youths served.


The Richard S. Shineman Foundation is going one on one to challenge the Fulton community to support the Fulton Dream Courts.

The local foundation recently awarded the Fulton Community Basketball nonprofit organization with a commitment of $75,000 through its grant process. The grant followed a competitive application process during which Fulton Community Basketball board members Sean Broderick, Alissa Viscome and Jerry Mirabito conveyed Fulton Dream Courts’ mission to improve the quality of life for local people of all ages.

The Dream Courts will hold two outdoor basketball courts in the city of Fulton. Broderick, head coach of the Fulton varsity boys basketball team, said the idea is to offer more opportunities to kids in the community.

Broderick, who also runs the Fulton youth basketball program, has said that the courts will host free programming, and he hopes to hold clinics and “leadership summits” at the site. The Fulton Dream Courts can benefit both the girls and boys basketball programs, and can be an even larger benefit to the Fulton community as a whole, he said.

The Fulton Dream Courts project has also received a $50,000 grant from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.

With the Shineman Foundation, Fulton Community Basketball was approved for a $25,000 grant that also included an additional 1-to-1 matching grant opportunity up to $50,000. For every dollar Fulton Community Basketball raises, the Richard S. Shineman Foundation will match it to increase the grant total. 

While considering grant possibilities last spring, Broderick and Fulton Community Basketball referred to the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and its mission to be a catalyst for change. The foundation seeks to award grants to applicants that are not only seeking change but to those that also have an elaborate plan for it to come to fruition. Fulton Community Basketball believed its mission was on par with those criteria.

Viscome, the vice president and secretary of the Fulton Community Basketball Board of Directors, recalled the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and how it enhanced her rapport with Broderick. Her oldest daughter was one of the many children who benefited when Fulton Community Basketball arranged to give kids the opportunity to participate in remote trainings and workouts with the likes of former Syracuse University basketball player Eric Devendorf and former NFL player Leroy Collins. This experience allowed these children to have a social outlet while many indoor recreational facilities were not available to them at the time.

Broderick consulted with the Shineman Foundation’s Office Administrator Penny Halstead and was invited to begin the initial vetting process with the Shineman Foundation. Once Fulton Dream Courts was considered consistent with the foundation’s vision, Broderick, Viscome and Mirabito met with the now former Executive Director of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation Karen Goetz for the next phase of vetting. This gave them an opportunity to talk about the impact Fulton Dream Courts will have on the local community, especially youths. They emphasized their desire to help children develop pivotal skills in social interactions, leadership and goal planning.

Partnerships with the Oswego County Youth Bureau, AmeriCorps and Youth Works also help build vocational opportunities within the project. Fulton Community Basketball also believes that implementing a “see it, be it” leadership model will enhance the trajectory of many children’s lives.

“If someone like a Lydia Mirabito or a Marcus Shepard is coaching or supervising a group of 7- or 8-year-old children, (those children) are going to look up to them and say, hey, someday when I’m their age, I’ll be the one coaching the younger kids,” Viscome said. “Then, they might start thinking about getting those jobs and all the stuff they have to do to reach that goal.”

At the conclusion of this meeting, Goetz encouraged Fulton Community Basketball to submit a formal proposal to the foundation. After a thorough review of the proposal, Goetz and the Shineman Foundation Board of Directors were convinced Fulton Community Basketball is more than prepared to contribute to the growth of the Fulton community.

“The Shineman Foundation Board of Directors felt that this was the most collaborative project of any they reviewed for that grant round,” Goetz said. “We were thrilled to support this exciting project and I was honored to have the opportunity to present this check before I retired on Sept. 30.”

Viscome immediately envisioned Fulton Dream Courts having a tremendous impact when Broderick approached her about the idea. What fuels her excitement are the possibilities the grant from the Shineman Foundation continues to generate. 

The grant allows Fulton Community Basketball to seek donors whose generosity will be matched by that of the foundation through December 2023.

“This matching grant is an incredible opportunity for donors to maximize their contributions. A $50 donation from community members becomes $100, thanks to the Shineman Foundation’s generosity and commitment to this project,” Viscome said. “To have this type of support is truly impactful to making the Dream Courts a reality for the Fulton community. This will be a real game changer for our upcoming fundraising projects.”

Fulton Community Basketball Board President Sean Broderick expressed his respect and appreciation for the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and all that it stands for. 

The foundation strives for change and Fulton Community Basketball’s ongoing fundraising efforts confirm that another mechanism of change is en route to the community.

“The Shineman Foundation has a legacy as a catalyst for change in our community,” Broderick said. “We are grateful to have them as a partner for our vision for our Dream Courts.”

Photo caption: Karen Goetz (second from left), former executive director of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, is pictured next to Shineman Foundation Office Administrator Penny Halstead while presenting the foundation’s grant award to Fulton Community Basketball and its president, Sean Broderick (back row right) in support of Fulton Dream Courts. The presentation took place Sept. 20 at the Fulton War Memorial. Fulton basketball players Will Brown, Tyler Budd, Mason Fuller, Cameron Fragel, Jacob Atwater, Jack Bryant, Sophie Kunzwiler, Cadence Nipper, Elizabeth Blake and Tessa Morey are also in the photo.