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Women & Girls Fund money goes to 18 area organizations

Published: Thursday, 16 January 2020 20:56

Mike Orazzi | Staff
Guests applaud at Thursday night’s reception at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
Mike Orazzi | Staff Guests applaud at Thursday night’s reception at the DoubleTree by Hilton.


BRISTOL - The Women & Girls Fund at the Main Street Community Foundation awarded $53,000 Thursday to 18 area organizations.

Several dozen representatives from the organizations and foundation members attended the annual meeting and grant reception at DoubleTree by Hilton. There they spoke about the programs funded through the grants and the impact they will have on local women and girls.

Susan Sadecki, president and CEO of the Main Street Community Foundation, welcomed the guests.

“This is the 19th year of the Women & Girls Fund; it has been quite an amazing journey,” she said. “The conversation started in a living room about the needs of women and girls in the communities we serve and it has expanded from there to reach the point where we are now.”

Sadecki thanked those who have supported the fund over the years and made it possible to grow the endowment and recruit volunteers for the fund’s Wonder of Women fundraiser.

The grant money was raised during the fund’s 18th annual Wonder of Women”event in 2019 as well as through the Main Street Community Foundation’s Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women and John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls. These funds will specifically support women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.

Julia Weston, chair of the fund’s advisory board, then spoke for the last time in this role before her term ended.

“Our 2019 WOW event was a wonderful celebration of our work in the community,” she said. “We had a speaker, Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was involved in a cycling accident and needed dozens of blood transfusions to save her life. That inspired us to plan a blood drive in Bristol with the Red Cross that year.”

This 19th annual Wonder of Women event will be April 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Humor columnist Lori Borgman will be the guest speaker.

Here are the recipients of the grants:

Arts for Learning: $4,500 for an after-school theater program for girls at Eli Terry Middle School in Plymouth.

Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center: $3,000 to benefit SMART Girls, a critical skill development program for girls ages 6 to 12.

Brian’s Angels Homeless Outreach: $1,000 for winter outerwear and boots for women and girls.

Bristol Family Resource Centers: $3,580 for the Best SELF: Self Image & Esteem, Leadership and preparing for the Future, a social skills program for 5th- and 8th-grade girls.

Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington: $4,000 to provide training and materials for educators to implement The RULER Approach to Emotional Intelligence for Southington’s early childhood educators.

EdAdvance with the Plymouth Family Resource Center: $1,685 to benefit 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: $3,000 to provide camperships for girls.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut: $3,000 to provide camperships for girls.

Plymouth Community Food Pantry: $1,500 to purchase supplies for the Diaper Bank.

Prudence Crandall Center: $4,500 to support Partnerships to Promote Healthy Relationships, a program that provides domestic and teen dating violence prevention services.

Rushford Center: $4,000 to support Building Resiliency through Alternative Therapies, which provides women in behavioral health outpatient treatment programs with alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation.

Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center: $1,600 to support equine-assisted activities and therapies for women and girls.

St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol: $2,500 to provide housing emergency funds for women and girls.

The Agape House: $1,680 to support the Peer Support and Empowerment Group for homeless women.

The Children’s Law Center: $6,000 to provide legal representation for female children in family court.

The New England Carousel Museum: $1,225 to support the partnership with the American Clock & Watch Museum to provide free admission for Bristol WIC cardholders.

Tunxis Community College: $5,000 to fund Launch Your Leadership Journey, a program that promotes student success and retention through the development of leadership skills, abilities and attitudes.

United Way of West Central Connecticut: $1,260 to support 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.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or