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First Niagara Invests in Central New York

DATE: 11-25-2002

William E. Swan, Chairman, President and CEO of First Niagara Bank and it's parent, First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., announced the bank's support of Cayuga Community College's facilities master plan during the 93rd annual dinner and Silent Auction of the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce November 12.

Mr. Swan was the keynote speaker during the event, which coincided with the merging and rebranding of the company's banking subsidiaries under the First Niagara name in Cayuga, Cortland and Oneida Counties.

"First Niagara has a commitment to supporting efforts that make Central New York a great place to live and work," said Swan. He then called Dr. Dennis Golladay, President of Cayuga Community College, to the podium to collect the first installment of a $75,000 pledge. First Niagara's generous support will help bridge the gap between public funding in place and the private funds necessary to complete the College's facilities master plan. The plan, approved by the Cayuga County legislature and College Board of Trustees in 1999, includes upgrading several key areas of the College and the construction of a Regional Economic Center. This new building, currently under construction, includes space for the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology to showcase the College's affiliation with NASA, the establishment of a "one-stop" employment and training office for Cayuga County, and the expanded Business Industry Center.

President Golladay, in accepting this grant from Mr. Swan, mentioned that this generous pledge qualifies for two challenge matches. The Fred L. Emerson Foundation and the State University of New York Construction Fund will both match the First Niagara pledge, increasing total project support to $225,000.

The Cayuga County Community College Foundation, Inc. is an autonomous body whose mission is to provide financial assistance for educational and other related programs of Cayuga Community College. These programs are not funded through the College's operating budget but are necessary to enhance College programs. The Foundation continually seeks to provide growth and improvement opportunities to the College, its students and staff through fund raising activities and through diligent fund management. This year, the Foundation will provide $450,000 in support to Cayuga students, programs, faculty and staff through competitive grants and scholarships.

First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. through its wholly owned subsidiary First Niagara Bank, is a full-service, community-oriented bank that provides financial services to individuals, families and businesses through 38 banking centers, one loan production office, several financial services subsidiaries and 75 ATMs throughout Western and Central New York.