Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation Awards Over $94,000 to 37 Local Organizations

Grants support programs that benefit children and families in Eastern CT
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation awarded grants in excess of $94,000 in support of 37 programs that benefit children and families in the region on March 24, 2020.

“At this critical time for many nonprofits, the Foundation worked to swiftly disburse funds to the recipients,” said Tony Sheridan, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. “The Board members did a wonderful job of making ready the grants to support these important programs.”

The Foundation, a 501(c)3 overseen by a volunteer board with support from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT, fulfills its mission to enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families through generous donations from the business community.

Major fundraisers in 2019 were the 36th Holiday Gala hosted by Mohegan Sun in December and the 8th Annual Bowl-a-Thon at High Rollers Luxury Lanes at Foxwoods Resort Casino last April.

“The Foundation relies on a dedicated team of volunteers and the support of local businesses, who year after year donate generously toward our efforts,” said Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation’s Board of Directors. “These events are special because they bring together so many people in a common cause to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region. For hosting a beautiful gala that draws hundreds of people annually, I want to especially thank the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun. They consistently go above and beyond to make sure the event is successful in its mission to raise much needed funds in support of children and families.”

“I cannot offer enough thanks to our sponsors, committee members, volunteers, Foundation board members, and staff at the Chamber. The success of these events is built on the contributions of so many people,” said Ziegler.

Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated nearly $1.4 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 2020 Chamber Foundation grant recipients are Always Home, Inc., Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich, Inc., Channel 3 Kids Camp, Children’s Museum of SECT, City of Norwich Human Services, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Eastern CT Community Gardens Association, Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board, FRESH New London, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Higher Edge, Inc., Hygienic Art, Inc., Immigration Advocacy & Support Center, Madonna Place, Inc, Montville Little League, New England Science & Sailing, New London Homeless Hospitality Center, Norwich Community Backpack Program, Norwich Historical Society, Norwich Rotary Foundation, Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center, Inc., Riverfront Children’s Center, S.T.E.P.S., Inc., Safe Futures, Inc., Sea Research Foundation, Shiloh Development Corporation, St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc., Stonington Historical Society, Thames River Community Service, Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., The Arc Eastern Connecticut, The Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center, Tommy Toy Fund, United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT, United Community and Family Services, Inc (UCFS), United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, and Waterford Country School.

The 2020 Chamber Foundation grant recipients, awards and projects are listed below:
 Always Home, Inc.: $3,500, to support Homelessness Prevention and Shelter Diversion programs.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich, Inc.: $1,500, to support the Pregnancy Education Program and needs of expectant families. 
Channel 3 Kids Camp: $1,000, to provide campership support for children with disabilities, children from military families and children considered “at-risk” from New London and Windham Counties.
Children’s Museum of SECT: $900, to provide a yearlong series of monthly sensory friendly programs to families with children on the autism spectrum.
City of Norwich: $2,000, to purchase and provide new school uniforms for low-income Norwich families.
Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra: $1,000, to create need-based scholarships for Eastern Connecticut Symphony Youth Orchestra and Strings Ensemble.
Eastern CT Community Gardens Association: $1,045, to provide over 3,000 students the benefit of hands-on education in gardens. 
Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board: $5,000, to support the wages of low-income youth to take part in the Summer Youth Employment Program.
FRESH New London: $1,700, to support food system change through local agriculture and youth empowerment.
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.: $2,500, to support the VetKids Program in equine-assisted activities that promote communication skills and team-building in a positive recreational outlet.
Higher Edge, Inc.: $2,500, to support the College Access Program and Success Program.
Hygienic Art, Inc.: $1,000, to support Artist Academy Jr., which fosters an interest in reading and the arts for young children and families.
Immigration Advocacy & Support Center: $1,000, to support the School Opportunity and Readiness Program (SOAR), narrowing the educational achievement gap for minority youth and children.
Madonna Place, Inc.: $3,500, to support the Family Support Center, a comprehensive support and education center for disadvantaged New London County families. 
Montville Little League: $500, to support registration fees for families with financial constraints.
New England Science & Sailing: $2,500, to support the NESS-New London Initiative in STEM opportunities for students.
New London Homeless Hospitality Center: $2,000, to help purchase household goods for families fleeing domestic violence.
Norwich Community Backpack Program: $1,500, to purchase 900 new backpacks and school supplies for low-income youth in Norwich.
Norwich Historical Society: $1,000, to support programs about the Norwich Freedom Trail for Norwich students.
Norwich Rotary Foundation: $1,000, to support the Rotary Coat Fund for children from low income families in the Norwich area.
Pregnancy Support Center, Inc.: $2,000, to provide material assistance in the Pregnancy Decision Program including supplies and car seats for infants.
Riverfront Children's Center: $2,500, to support the purchase and installation of a 14 x 14 sunshade in the playground.
S.T.E.P.S., Inc.: $1,000, to support funding of Summer Leadership Training girls in Groton, New London and Norwich. 
Safe Futures, Inc.: $3,000, to support the Pathways Mentor Program.
Sea Research Foundation: $3,000, to support the STEM-based Where the City Meets the Sea Long Island Sound education program.
Shiloh Development Corporation: $3,000, to purchase technology that supports in-depth inquiry-based learning for children.
St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc.: $5,000, to provide peanut butter and cereal to children through the food pantry.
Stonington Historical Society: $1,200, to support a children’s craft program about thee history of minority popultations.
Thames River Community Service: $2,200, to support Children's Activities programing at Thames River.
Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc.: $2,000, to suport the Winter Boots Project coordinated by  the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
The Arc Eastern Connecticut: $1,000, to support the purchase of a new hydraulic lift and sling for participants with limited mobility.
The Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center: $2,000, to support the purchase of a forward and reverse belt treadmill for participants to work on motor skills.
Tommy Toy Fund: $17,500, to provide thousands of children with toys, educational books and gloves.
United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT: $2,500, to support the assistive technology needs of youth with disabilities.
United Community and Family Services, Inc (UCFS): $2,335, to support group therapy programs in Montville for students who have experienced trauma.
United Way of Southeastern Connecticut: $5,000, to procure nutritious, fresh food for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/ Labor Food Bank's 66 feeding sites and mobile food pantry.
Waterford Country School: $2,500, to enhance our vocational training through a culinary training program for the youth.