Chamber Foundation Provides $113,300 to 38 Nonprofits

Eastern CT – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation has announced the distribution of $113,300 to 38 eastern CT nonprofits that will improve the quality of life for thousands of children in the region.

The Foundation raised funds throughout 2016 with fundraisers including the 5th Annual Bowl-a-Thon at High Rollers Luxury Lanes at Foxwoods Resort Casino in April and the 33rd Annual Holiday Gala held at Mohegan Sun in December.

“The number of grant requests this year was unprecedented at fifty-one,” said Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber Foundation’s Board of Directors.  “I would like to thank the community for its continued support of the Foundation. Once again, you have come through in a time of need showing generosity to those less fortunate. 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.”

“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 for children, school supplies, healthy nutrition, winter clothing, intervention for at-risk children, and food pantry items, among many others.

The 2017 Chamber Foundation grant recipients are:

  • Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Association: $500 towards creating a community garden at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London.
  • Natchaug Hospital: $1,000 to provide sensory integration tools for clients at the Joshua Center Southeast program in Groton.
  • Hygienic Art: $1,000 to support Hygienic Art's Artist Academy Jr. program, which will be provided to the community free of charge.
  • Horses Healing Humans: $1,000 to provide need-based scholarships for children with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges to participate in equine-assisted learning and therapeutic riding programs.
  • Children’s Museum of Southeastern CT: $1,350 to aid in funding for construction of an outdoor toddler play area.
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich: $1,500 to purchase food, clothing, diapers, formula, car seats, cribs, rental assistance, and utility assistance for young families struggling financially.
  • The Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center: $1,500 to provide a summer social program for middle and high school students with high functioning Autism.
  • Norwich Community Backpack Program: $1,500 to purchase backpacks and school supplies for low-income youth in Norwich.
  • New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS): $1,500 to allow at-risk students in New London to participate in NESS’ Ocean Adventure STEM education program.
  • New London Main Street: $1,500 to support literacy, music, and boat activities at the CT Family Festival.
  • Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT: $1,500 to repair fencing around the children’s playground at the New London Day Nursery.
  • Groton Community Meals: $1,650 to purchase food and supplies for four months’ worth of weekly meals for families in need.
  • Shiloh Development Corporation: $1,850 to replace damaged and worn furniture within the preschool classroom.
  • Norwich Human Services: $2,000 to provide school uniforms to children of low-income Norwich families.
  • The Rotary Club of Norwich: $2,000 to support the Rotary Mahan Coat Fund providing warm winter coats to children from low-income families in the greater Norwich area.
  • Southeastern Regional Action Council: $2,000 to support implementation of the Adolescent Learning and Leadership Institute for approximately 125 high school youth in southeastern CT.
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding: $2,000 to increase the recreational and therapeutic opportunities available to vulnerable youth and individuals with disabilities.
  • Read to Ride: $2,000 to encourage reading in Norwich and Montville by providing an incentive program to win a new bike or gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
  • Madonna Place: $2,000 to support the Fatherhood Initiative Program to nurture children and strengthen families.
  • Thames River Community Service: $2,000 to cover the costs of tuition, transportation, clothing, and supplies for twelve children whose mothers cannot afford to send them to camp this summer.
  • Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center: $2,500 to aid in funding for the Center’s Crisis Pregnancy Program for women and teens.
  • Center for Hospice Care Southeastern CT: $2,500 towards the Expressive Arts program for children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • The New London Community Meal Center: $2,500 to aid in supplying free meals to residents in eastern CT, particularly families with children.
  • FRESH New London: $2,500 towards building a community garden, gathering space, and children’s play space at McDonald Park in New London.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern CT: $2,500 to fund the club’s After School and Summer Enrichment program for at-risk youth in New London and Groton.
  • The Riverfront Children’s Center: $2,950 to develop a pre-school-age curriculum focusing on local food systems and healthy food choices.
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA): $3,000 to purchase winter boots for children from low-income families in eastern CT.
  • Waterford Country School – Adoption Program: $3,000 to support Project Connecticut’s Child program, which works with families for hard-to-place children in CT foster care.
  • Safe Futures: $3,200 to create a more child-friendly area within the Safe Future Phoenix House Transitional Living Program multipurpose room.
  • Higher Edge: $3,300 to continue the College Access Program for high school students in eastern CT.
  • Mystic Aquarium: $4,000 to support the Friendship by the Sea program which provides nature-based educational opportunities for children in eastern CT.
  • Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board (EWIB): $5,000 to aid in funding for the Summer Youth Employment program for disadvantaged youth.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Place: $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 and purchase healthy food to be distributed through the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center.
  • Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality (MASH): $5,000 to support case management services for families with children at imminent risk of homelessness.
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT (UCP): $5,000 to support the Assistive Technology Center by purchasing technology and tools.
  • United Community and Family Services (UCFS): $10,000 to support the construction of a new health center in Jewett City.
  • Tommy Toy Fund: $15,000 to purchase toys for children in southeastern CT.
The Chamber Foundation will continue to raise funds through events in 2017 including the 6th Annual Bowl-a-Thon on April 26 and the 34th Annual Holiday Gala on December 8. Limited lanes are available for the Bowl-a-Thon, but donations are accepted through PayPal. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available for the Holiday Gala. Contact the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT at or call (860) 701-9113 with inquiries.  

Learn more about the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation at or call the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT office at (860) 701-9113.
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About the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation:
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.
About the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut:

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