Women & Girls’ Fund Announces Over $35,000 in Grant Awards at Annual Meeting

January 14, 2016 - It is the start of a new year, a time to celebrate the past while looking to the future.

The Women & Girls’ Fund of the Main Street Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on
January 14, 2016 to do just that - celebrate the Fund’s accomplishments of the past year before looking ahead to the Fund’s 15th anniversary year.

The Annual Meeting celebration centered on the announcement of grant distributions from the Fund in 2015 – $35,350 was awarded to 11 organizations and initiatives working to improve the lives of women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.

Representatives from the grantee organizations attended the Annual Meeting to not only accept their grants but also to tell Women & Girls’ Fund donors about the programs funded. Grants were awarded to the following organizations for the purposes described:

  • Arts for Learning Connecticut - The Beautiful Girl Project, a pilot program at Burlington Public Library and Southington Public Library that gives girls in sixth to eighth grade an opportunity to express themselves through creative writing.
  • Bristol Family Resource Centers - Providers Responsive Early Care & Education Preparation program for women who are licensed home day care providers. Up to 25 licensed home day care providers will have the opportunity to increase their ability to provide a nurturing environment for optimal development and learning for the 140+ children in their care.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center - Venture Crew program, a pilot program that gives teen girls ages 14-18 a chance to experience activities that are fun and challenging in areas that are foreign to them. (Partially funded by the Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women.)
  • Charter Oak State College Foundation - Women in Transition, a program in which underserved and low-income single mothers enrich their lives by completing their college degree through Charter Oak State College. (Partially funded by the John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls.)
  • Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington – Assistance for five Southington women operating Family Child Care (FCC) businesses in achieving the National Association of Family Child Care Accreditation.
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut - 2016 Campership Program for girls from Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
  • Chapter 126 - Oak Hill - Beautiful U Project for girls with and without disabilities in grades five through eight from Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
  • Plymouth Human Services - Senior Nutrition Class, a program for Plymouth senior citizens that teaches them about cooking and nutrition.
  • Prudence Crandall Center - Domestic & Teen Dating Violence Prevention services for youth and teens in the Plainville schools.
  • Women & Girls’ Fund Endowment – Annual grants support programs to improve the conditions and opportunities for women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
  • Women & Girls’ Immediate Response Fund – Small, one-time grants assist women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott who may be in need of immediate assistance due to a particular life situation or unexpected financial hardship.

Grants from the Women & Girls’ Fund are made possible with the proceeds from the annual Wonder of Women (WOW) event as well as two other named funds: the Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women and the John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls. Both funds were established in 2011 in honor of those named in the fund by their families and provide distributions to support initiatives identified by the Women & Girls’ Fund.

“We are thrilled to be announcing over $35,000 in grants thanks to the generosity of the many donors who believe in the mission of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” said Jeanine Audette, outgoing Chair of the Advisory Board.

Jeanine Audette also announced how the Fund is planning to celebrate its 15th anniversary. “We have some special initiatives planned,” stated Jeanine Audette. “We have a couple of exciting announcements coming up that include a matching gift opportunity, and right now we are in the midst of A Toast to Women, a pay-it-forward campaign to honor 1,000 special women who have made a positive impact in the lives of others.”

Leading the Fund into its 15th year is a new slate of officers. Officers serving for 2016 are: Dawn Nielsen, Chair; Susan Moreau, Recording Secretary; Kaitlin Humble, Treasurer; and Jeanine Audette, Past Chair. In addition, Patti Fippinger and Kimberly Lewis, both of Burlington, were elected to the Advisory Board during the Annual Meeting, while Sofia Bayne of Bristol joined the Advisory Board mid-year 2015.

“The Advisory Board guides the work of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” stated Jeanine Audette. “We’re grateful for their valuable expertise as we head into the Fund’s 15th year and celebrate this historic milestone.”