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Eactern Connecticut chamber grants $90,850

WATERFORD — On March 27, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation announced the distribution of $90,850 to 23 eastern Connecticut nonprofits that will improve the quality of life for thousands of children in eastern Connecticut. The amount tops last year’s donations by $3,700.

The foundation raised $105,196 at its 30th annual Holiday Gala at Mohegan Sun in December 2013.

“I would once again like to thank the community for its continued support of the Foundation’s Holiday Gala,” said Lou Ziegler, chairman of the foundation’s board. “Once again you have come through in a time of need showing your generosity for those less fortunate. A special thanks goes to the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun, not only for providing a venue that is second to none, but for going above and beyond in your efforts to make sure this event is successful.

“Thank you to all of our sponsors, committee members, volunteers, foundation board members and staff of the chamber. Putting this event together is a team effort, and everyone mentioned plays a critical role in our success,”he said.”

Since 2002, the foundation has donated more than $950,000 to numerous local organizations that serve the needs of children. Their goal is to support projects and programs that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities in the chamber’s service area.

This year recipients will be able to provide children and families with warm clothes for winter, toys and books for Christmas, summer camp experiences, help going to college, violin lessons, and car safety seats, among many other benefits. The grant recipients are:

Community Coalition for Children, $1,000 for community-wide events in Oct. 2014 with a focus on childhood health, wellness and the importance of physical activity.

Norwich Human Services, $1,000 to provide services to youth participants in the Juvenile Justice program and/or Families with Service Needs program.

Norwich Rotary Foundation, $1,000 to support the Mahan Coat project.

New London Community Orchestra, $1,100 to fund free summer violin lessons for 4th-6th graders in New London in conjunction with Magnet Kingdom summer program.

The Light House, $1,100 to purchase two iPads for use by students with disabilities.

Read to Ride, Inc., $1,500 to help fund the purchase of bicycles, helmets and locks.

Safe Futures, $2,150 to fund the purchase of child-safe outlet covers, window safety labels, and other child-safety equipment for Genesis House Emergency Shelter and Phoenix House transitional housing.

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, $2,200 to enable up to 300 families and caretakers of children with disabilities to attend a free picnic at Camp Harkness.

Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center, $2,500 to help fund the Crisis Pregnancy Program that provides medical and material support for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy.

ECHO Cancer Foundation, $2,500 to support the Beacon of Hope program, which provides services, food, blankets and comfort to patients throughout their visits.

Higher Edge, $2,800, to help fund the continued growth of the College Access program (CAP), which provides services for low-income and first-generation college-bound students.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc., $3,000 to increase the recreational and therapeutic opportunities available to individuals with disabilities by providing therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities at Camp Harkness.

Thames Valley Council for Community Action, $3,000 to support the 19th annual Santa Anonymous Winter Boot project to benefit low- and moderate-income children in the Greater New London area.

Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut, $3,200 to support an expansion of the Expressive Arts program for children and teens.

Child & Family Agency, $3,300 to purchase and install 60 car seats for low-income families as part of the Safe Kids New London Coalition program.

Thames River Family Program, $4,000 to help cover costs of tuition, transportation, clothing and supplies for 15 member children whose families cannot afford to the send them to summer camp.

Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, $5,000 to fund a new, portable toddler multi-purpose exhibit space for children ages 1-3.

F.R.E.S.H. New London, $5,000 to develop in-service-learning community food security projects from seed to sale.

Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality (MASH), $5,000 to support the Homelessness Prevent Program, which provides direct services to families with children that are at imminent risk of homelessness in New London County.

S.T.E.P.S. Inc. (Striving Toward Empowered Personal Success), $5,000 to assist with expenses associated with Girls Empowerment programs.

St. Vincent de Paul Place, $5,000 to provide peanut butter and cereal to families that use the food pantry.

United Community & Family Services, $5,500 to plan a multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorder program that provides assessment, diagnosis, and care management for children and family in southeastern Connecticut.

Tommy Toy Fund, $25,000 to purchase toys, books and gloves for approximately 5,000 children in eastern Connecticut for Christmas 2014.

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