The Leominster Champion
June 17, 2016
The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts announced the distribution of 23 grants, totaling nearly $500,000 from its general endowment funds and field of interest funds, during a press event at Apple Hill Farm in Leominster.
“All of the programs we funded will make a difference in the quality of life for our region,” said Phil Grzewinski, president of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.
Eight of the grants were made from the Community Foundation General Endowment Fund, which includes support from seven named funds — ABM General Endowment Fund, Allen & Barbara Rome General Endowment Fund, Brown/Peterson Family General Endowment Fund, Gerald E. Bieler Memorial Endowment Fund, IC Founders Society Endowment Fund, KRC Family Endowment Fund and the W. E. Aubuchon, Jr. General Endowment Fund:
• Becket Family of Services Fitchburg, which specializes in addressing behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, of Fitchburg received a $6,000 grant to purchase additional tools for its vocational programming, allowing it to serve more clients.
• A $3,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster, located in Leominster, will support certified training to staff in facilitating ALL STARS programming, an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program designed for students 11-17 years old.
• House of Peace and Education, Inc., in Gardner received a $15,000 grant to train its staff for the implementation of “Training Grounds,” a program to help clients with challenges.
• LUK Crisis Center, Inc., in Fitchburg will use its $13,879 grant toward a program that will hire four young adults as peer outreach workers, who have relevant backgrounds to reach out and prevent youths from running away from home.
• A $11,000 grant to Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc., in Fitchburg will be used to integrate a nationally recognized bystander intervention curriculum into its youth groups and sessions, which teaches young people how to safely intervene on behalf of someone who is being victimized.
• More than 120 professionals will receive training in health-based conflict intervention and mediation, which helps vulnerable population resolve issues, through a $20,000 grant to Quabbin Mediation, Inc., in Orange.
• The Friday Market in Petersham received a $2,000 grant toward Petersham Friday Market, which will provide a 20-week music program to enhance and increase community awareness and attendance.
• A $15,000 grant to the Winchendon School District will fund an after-school program that addresses curriculum gaps.
The Doyle Fund, established for environmental causes and animal welfare, made five grants:
• Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg received a $25,000 grant for its new veterinary science training program.
• A $15,000 grant to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol for its Eagle Reserve Conservation Initiative, which will create public access opportunities to a soon to be acquired 147-acre parcel of land.
• North County Land Trust, Inc., in Leominster received a $9,580 grant toward The Farmland Inventory Project, which is focused on promoting the importance of local farms and farmland.
• The Pat Brody Shelter for Cats, Inc., in Lunenburg will use its $5,000 grant to provide low or no cost veterinary services for low income cat owners as well as stray and abandoned cats.
• A $15,000 grant to the Princeton Land Trust in Princeton will go toward the acquisition of the Fieldstone Farm in Princeton for conservation. This grant amount, in conjunction with other efforts, will preserve the town’s conservation land.
The Community Foundation Organizational Development Fund, established to provide opportunities for local nonprofits to take steps to build their capacity and/or provide for better sustainability, made five grants:
• Athol-Orange Community Television, Inc., in Athol received a $4,000 grant to hire a consultant to write a volunteer policy for the organization. Development of this policy will streamline the recruitment, training and retaining of volunteers — who play an integral part in the functioning of the organization and its mission.
• A $5,000 grant to Cooperative Elder Services, Inc., in Groton will be used toward the creation of a three-year strategic plan.
• Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, which manages United Way Youth Venture for United Way of North Central Massachusetts, received a $20,000 grant to hire a part-time development person to assist with expansion of the youth development program to additional communities.
• A $11,800 grant to the Spanish American Center in Leominster will be used to hire a consultant to draft a five-year strategic plan.
• The Virgina Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard received a $13,645 grant, which will be used to update and expand its marketing outreach.
Five grants were made possible through the Community Foundation Critical Needs Fund, a fund established for providing assistance with issues that are deemed to be critical needs:
• Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz, Inc., in Leominster received a $15,000 grant to purchase food as part of a backpack program, which provides “food insecure” students in Leominster Public Schools with meals and snacks on the weekend.
• Ginny’s Helping Hand, Inc., in Leominster received a $20,000 grant to assist with the development of a strategic and succession plan.
• A $23,400 grant to AED Foundation, Inc., in Gardner will be used for its Alyssa’s Place: Peer Recovery and Resource Center, which provides substance abuse services.
• The United Way of Tri-County received a $5,000 grant for its Wheat Community Connections food pantry program in Clinton.
• A $20,000 grant to Veteran Homestead, Inc., in Fitchburg will be used as part of a program to address opioid addiction in veterans.
Since its inception, the foundation has awarded nearly $48 million in grants and distributions from 185 funds that have been established by individuals, families and organizations.