Manlius' CLIC to close

Lack of money.

That's why the Community Learning and Information Center of Manlius is closing.

"I've been running this place on a shoestring since I opened," said founder Bonnie McCabe. "And you just can't get the support from the people you'd hope to get the support from," including the village and the town, she said.

The town of Manlius decided a few years ago that they would no longer support nonprofits with taxpayer money. The village of Manlius continues to cut nonprofit funding.

McCabe opened CLIC eight years ago and has since thrived as a nurturing, learning environment for kids from kindergarten through high school, but finding proper funding has been a constant battle -- and one she no longer cares to fight.

"I've been chasing people for years and I've come to the point where financially, I just can't do it," McCabe said. "People assume [CLIC is always] going to be here and the only time they're going to be sorry they didn't contribute, is when we're not here anymore."

The yearly cost it takes to run CLIC is $38,000, which includes rent, lights and administration fees. McCabe said she receives small, private grants from organizations such as CNY Community Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House, but that money is designated to specific programs and doesn't cover operational costs, which McCabe said is the one area nonprofits need funding the most.

"And those are the things nobody will give you money for," she said.

McCabe, who began this journey as a volunteer, has maintained that status to date. A former math teacher, she initially tutored students at CLIC for free, five nights a week, but hired others for minimal pay to pick up where she couldn't, in subjects like science and language. Those individuals are still employed, she said, and earn the same pay at which they were hired.

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