July 16, 2019

High Hopes is One of 37 Beneficiaries of $120K Eastern CT Chamber Foundation Distribution to Local Non-Profits

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation has announced the distribution of $120,000 to 37 eastern Connecticut non-profits that will improve the quality of life for thousands of children in the region.

This year’s disbursement reflects the highest-ever amount distributed by the Foundation and marks a twelve percent increase over the 2018 grant disbursement.

The Foundation raised funds throughout 2018 with fundraisers including the 7th Annual Bowl-a-Thon at High Rollers Luxury Lanes at Foxwoods Resort Casino in April and the 35th Annual Holiday Gala held at Mohegan Sun in December.

“I would like to thank all of our loyal sponsors and volunteers for their unwavering support of the Foundation,” said Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation’s Board of Directors. “In 2018, eastern CT opened its heart in support of the less fortunate and contributed more generously than I have ever seen before. A special thanks goes to the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun, not only for providing a first-class venue for the Holiday Gala, but for going above and beyond to make sure that event was successful in its mission of raising funds in support of children and families in need.”

“Thank you to all our sponsors, committee members, volunteers, Foundation board members, and staff at the Chamber. Putting these events together is a team effort, and everyone involved played a critical role in our success,” said Ziegler.

Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated more than $1.3 million to numerous local organizations that serve the needs of children. The Foundation’s goal is to support projects and programs that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber’s service area.

This year’s recipients will be able to use funding to provide participation in regional activities, toys and books, school supplies, healthy nutrition, winter clothing, intervention for at-risk children, and food pantry items, among many others.

The 2019 Chamber Foundation grant recipients are:

  • Horses Healing Humans: $500 to provide a common ground equine-assisted activity program for Stonington Middle School girls.
  • Montville Little League: $500 to fund a scholarship program to distribute to children for registration fees.
  • The Center: A Drop-In Community Learning and Resource Center: $1,000 for additional support with supplies, transportation, and field trips for the Summer Enrichment Program.
  • Children’s Museum of Southeastern CT: $1,000 to provide monthly sensory-friendly programming at the Museum for families with children on the autism spectrum.
  • Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra: $1,000 for scholarships for participants in need of financial aid in the Eastern CT Symphony Youth Orchestra and Strings Ensemble.
  • Hygienic Art: $1,000 to support Artist Academy Jr. which fosters an interest in reading and the arts for young children and their families.
  • The Rotary Club of Norwich: $1,000 to support the Rotary Coat Fund which provides winter coats to children from low-income families in the greater Norwich area.
  • S.T.E.P.S. Inc.: $1,000 to provide part of the total funding for two full weeks of free Summer Leadership Training in July and August 2019 to middle school girls ages 10-18 in Groton, New London, and Norwich.
  • Eastern CT Community Gardens Association: $1,000 to support planting and care of gardens at various elementary schools for students to tend.
  • Groton Community Meals: $1,115 to purchase food and supplies needed for weekly dinners for local residents in need.
  • Shiloh Development Corporation: $1,160 to maintain the safety and quality of the preschool’s indoor play area by repairing items affected by wear and tear.
  • Channel 3 Kids Camp: $1,225 to help campership support for children with disabilities and children considered “at risk” from New London County.
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich: $1,500 to purchase diapers, wipes, and formula for newborns to help struggling single mothers with families and their children.
  • New London Main Street: $1,500 to help with expenses and entertainment, including a children’s tent with educational activities during the Connecticut Family Festival.
  • Norwich Community Backpack Program: $1,500 to purchase 850 new backpacks and age-appropriate school supplies for low-income youth in Norwich.
  • Southeastern Regional Action Council: $1,500 to support the implementation of the 13th Annual Youth Forum in spring 2020.
  • Thames River Community Service: $1,800 to support the children’s summer program.
  • Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT: $2,000 to help with renovating the playground at the Groton-Mystic Early Childhood Development Center.
  • Expressiones Cultural Center: $2,000 to support the ArtVenture Program which will provide culturally relevant bilingual arts and educational programming for children in New London schools.
  • Norwich Human Services: $2,000 to provide school uniforms to children of low-income Norwich families for the 2019-20 school year.
  • Pregnancy Support Center: $2,000 to support the Pregnancy Decision Program which provides limited medical services and material assistance to women and teens experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action: $2,000 to support the Santa Boots project which provides new winter boots for children from low-income and working families throughout eastern CT.
  • FRESH New London: $2,500 to support the Fresh Crew youth program which combines hands-on skills with community empowerment to make a long-term impact on the food system in New London.
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding: $2,500 to support the VetKids program which provides children of veterans with equine-assisted activities that promote skill development and team-building.
  • New England Science and Sailing Foundation (NESS): $2,500 to support NESS’ programs in New London which provide water-based educational experiences that transform students’ lives.
  • Safe Futures: $3,000 to be used toward providing children who have impacted by traumatic experiences the opportunity to attend Camp HOPE America – Connecticut.
  • Sea Research Foundation: $3,000 to support the “Where the City Meets the Sea” project to hep Norwich and New London teachers educate students about the ecology of Long Island Sound.
  • United Community & Family Services: $3,000 to pilot a project designed to assist patients who experience transportation barriers to attend healthcare appointments.
  • Madonna Place: $3,200 to fund a portion of the “Great Beginnings” program, which provides screening and assessments to identify high-risk pregnant women and offer intensive services for their child’s first few years of life.
  • Higher Edge: $3,500 to continue the College Access and Success programs.
  • Always Home: $5,000 to support homelessness prevention/shelter diversion of New London County families seeking emergency housing assistance.
  • Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board: $5,000 to be used toward expanding the number of disadvantaged youth that the organization will be able to serve in the 2019 Summer Youth Employment program.
  • Riverfront Children’s Center: $5,000 to purchase new equipment to create an outdoor infant/toddler classroom.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich: $5,000 to provide peanut butter and cereal to children whose families participate in the St. Vincent de Paul Place food pantry.
  • United Way of Southeastern CT: $5,000 to procure healthy and nutritious food to be distributed through the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank’s sixty-nine feeding sites, serving 5,700 children each month.
  • Tommy Toy Fund: $17,500 to support the goal of providing two toys, one book, and a pair of gloves to low-income children.
  • Miracle League of Southeastern CT: $25,000 for seed money for the design and construction of a Miracle League field that will serve eastern CT children who face physical and developmental challenges.

In addition to the $120,000 granted to these 37 non-profits, the Chamber Foundation will award $1,250 each to four eastern CT high school students ($5,000 total) later this spring. High-achieving high school students who have a demonstrated interest in serving their local communities are encouraged to apply for a scholarship by visiting ChamberECT.com/foundation. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2019.

The Chamber Foundation will continue to raise funds through events in 2019 including the 8th Annual Bowl-a-Thon on April 9 and the 36th Annual Holiday Gala on Dec. 6. To learn more, register, or find sponsorship opportunities, visit ChamberECT.com or call (860) 701-9113.

Learn more about the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation at ChamberECT.com/foundation or call the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT office at (860) 701-9113.

Editor’s Notes:
i) Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation, a business community-based 501(c)(3) foundation affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, is dedicated to promoting initiatives that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber service area.  ChamberECT.com/foundation
ii) The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is a collaborative of business and community leaders dedicated to securing and enhancing the economic vitality of eastern Connecticut. The Chamber works to create value for its members and the region by providing forums for business networking, leadership and discussions of issues that affect the region; providing opportunities for members to showcase their products, services and accomplishments; helping small businesses succeed through educational programs; and working to reduce the costs of doing business in Connecticut.  For more information, visit ChamberECT.com.

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