Over $55,000 in Grants Announced at Women & Girls’ Fund Annual Meeting & Grantee Reception

Empowerment. That seemed to be the theme of the Women & Girls’ Fund’s Annual Meeting & Grantee Reception held on January 16, 2019. Empowering young girls and women to lead successful lives. Empowering local non-profits to help build a stronger community. Empowering donors to provide opportunities for women and girls to achieve their full potential.

The annual event gathered together donors, community members and Fund representatives to award a record $55,227 in grants to 19 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, the Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women, the John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls, the City of Bristol Treasurer’s Fund for Financial Awareness and the Wally Barnes Fund for Community Leadership Initiatives.

“We are thrilled to be presenting over $55,000 in grants – the most ever awarded – thanks to the generosity of the many donors who believe in the mission of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” said Julia Weston, Chair of the Fund’s Advisory Board.

Representatives from the grantee organizations spoke to Women & Girls’ Fund donors and representatives about the programs funded and the impact they will have on local women and girls. Grants were awarded to the following organizations for the purposes described:

  • Bristol Family Resource Centers – Best SELF: Self Image & Esteem, Leadership and preparing for the Future, a social skills program designed to prepare girls for the transition from middle school to high school
  • Bristol Youth Services - Skills to Pay the Bills, a program that provides social/family life education and independent living skills
  • Community Counseling Centers of Central Connecticut – Self: A Workshop to Improve Esteem, a program to teach young women how to cope and fight against negative thoughts, social pressure and low self-esteem
  • Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington – Support to childcare providers to improve mental health, manage stress levels and reduce outside stressors
  • Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut –Camperships for girls
  • For Goodness Sake – Sweet Dreams Program, which provides new mattresses and bedding sets for families
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut - 2019 summer camperships
  • Girls Inc. of Western Connecticut – Changing the Conversation, an after school program for girls at Tyrrell Middle School in Wolcott
  • Jane Doe No More - Safe Student Initiative and Escape Alive Survival Skills Self-Defense programs for girls at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol
  • John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency - Building Pathways CT, an apprenticeship program for women in the Building trades
  • Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut - Family Sustainability through Literacy Plus, a program to increase reading, writing, math and financial literacy for women and their children
  • Oak Hill – Chapter 126 – One-on-one health and fitness training for women with disabilities or health challenges
  • Plymouth Community Food Pantry –Supplies for the Diaper Bank
  • 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
  • Southington Middle School Athletic Association – To support the middle school girls’ sports programs
  • St. Casimir Rosary Society –Replacement mixers for the preparation of food for fundrasiers
  • St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol – Housing support for women and girls
  • The Children’s Law Center, Inc. – Legal representation for female children in family court

Serving their second year as officers of the Fund are: Julia Weston, Chair; Susan Moreau, Recording Secretary; Lisa Palen, Treasurer; and Dawn Nielsen, Past Chair. Two new additions to the Advisory Board this year are: Susan Winn and Marilyn Perzan, both of Burlington. In addition, Kim Lewis of Burlington was reelected to a second three-year term.

“The Advisory Board directs the activities of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” stated Julia Weston. “We’re excited to head into the Fund’s 18th year and continue to serve the women and girls in your communities.”