Over $53,000 in Grants Announced at Women & Girls’ Fund Annual Meeting & Grantee Reception

Building self-esteem and extinguishing self-doubt through collective action. That was the theme at the Annual Meeting & Grantee Reception for Main Street Community Foundation’s Women & Girls’ Fund held on January 16, 2020.

The annual event gathered donors, community members and Fund representatives to award $53,000 in grants to 18 organizations serving women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.

Grants were made possible with the proceeds from the annual Wonder of Women (WOW) event as well as Main Street Community Foundation’s Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women and John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls.

“We are thrilled to be presenting these grants thanks that have a direct impact on local women and girls thanks to the many donors who believe in the mission of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” said Julia Weston, outgoing Chair of the Fund’s Advisory Board.

Representatives from the grantee organizations spoke about the programs funded and the impact they will have on local women and girls. Main Street Community Foundation awarded 18 grants from the Women & Girls’ Fund to the following organizations for the purposes described:

  • Arts for Learning CT – An afterschool theater program focusing on positive youth development for girls at Eli Terry Middle School in Plymouth
  • Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center – SMART Girls, a critical skill development program for girls ages 6-12 focusing on health, education and self-esteem
  • Brian’s Angels Homeless Outreach –Warm winter outerwear and boots for women and girls
  • Bristol Family Resource Centers – Best SELF: Self Image & Esteem, Leadership and preparing for the Future, a social skills program designed to prepare 5th and 8th grade girls for middle school and high school respectively
  • Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington – The RULER Approach to Emotional Intelligence for Southington’s early childhood educators
  • EdAdvance/Plymouth Family Resource Center – Support groups in Plymouth schools for mothers of children with special needs and for 5th grade girls transitioning to middle school
  • Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut – Camperships for girls
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut - Camperships for girls
  • Plymouth Community Food Pantry – Supplies for the Diaper Bank
  • Prudence Crandall Center – Partnerships to Promote Healthy Relationships, a program that provides domestic and teen dating violence prevention services in Bristol, Plainville and Southington schools
  • Rushford Center – Building Resiliency through Alternative Therapies, which provides women in the behavioral health outpatient treatment programs with alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation
  • Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. – Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies for women and girls
  • St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol – Housing emergency funds for women and girls
  • The Agape House – Peer Support and Empowerment Group for homeless women
  • The Children’s Law Center, Inc. – Legal representation for female children in family court
  • The New England Carousel Museum – Partnership with the American Clock & Watch Museum to provide free admission for Bristol WIC cardholders
  • Tunxis Community College – Launch Your Leadership Journey, a program which promotes student success and retention through the development of leadership skills, abilities and attitudes
  • United Way of West Central Connecticut – Women’s Career Development, a program to assist parents in building connections with other parent leaders, building their sense of self and providing useful career tools

Leading the Fund into the next year is Cathy Cassin serving as Chair of the Advisory Board. In addition, the following individuals were elected to serve three-year terms on the Advisory Board: Jeanine Audette of Plymouth, Jessica Pieri of Bristol and Carolyn Ziogas of Bristol.

“The Advisory Board guides the activities of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” stated Cathy Cassin, the newly elected Chair. “We’re excited to head into the Fund’s 20th year and continue to serve the women and girls in your communities.”