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Chamber Foundation awards grant dollars to nonprofits helping children

The Day - 3/26/2019

March 26-- Mar. 26--WATERFORD -- Sea Research Foundation is getting $3,000 to help Norwich and New London teachers educate students about Long Island Sound. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is getting $2,500 to help children of veterans with equine-assisted activities. The Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is getting $1,000 to provide programming for children on the autism spectrum.

These nonprofits are among the 37 to receive grants from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation. The foundation reviewed 53 applications and announced the distribution of $120,000 -- compared to $107,400 last year and $113,000 the year before -- on Monday.

"All of our fundraising efforts throughout the year culminate today," said Louis Ziegler, chairman of the foundation's board. Fundraising includes the bowl-a-thon in April and holiday gala in December.

The grants ranged from $500 -- for a Horses Healing Humans program for Stonington Middle School, and to the Montville Little League -- to $25,000, to the Miracle League of Southeastern Connecticut.

The Miracle League field, which will be built at Flanders Elementary School in East Lyme, will serve children with physical and development challenges. Executive Director Dave Putnam said this donation puts the organization over the $400,000 mark; the first phase, building the actual field, is projected to cost $500,000.

Tommy Toy Fund received $17,500 to provide toys, books and gloves for low-income children. The next highest grant amount after that was $5,000, which each of five agencies received: United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, St. Vincent de Paul Place, Riverfront Children's Center, Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board and Always Home.

Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated more than $1.3 million to local organizations serving children, according to a press release from the chamber.

The other 2019 recipients are the Drop-In Learning Center, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Hygienic Art, Rotary Club of Norwich, STEPS, Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association, Groton Community Meals, Shiloh Development Corporation, Channel 3 Kids Camp, Catholic Charities, New London Main Street, Norwich Community Backpack Program, Southeastern Regional Action Council, Thames River Community Service, Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Expressiones Cultural Center, Norwich Human Services, Pregnancy Support Center, Thames Valley Council for Community Action, FRESH New London, New England Science and Sailing Foundation, Safe Futures, United Community & Family Services, Madonna Place and Higher Edge.


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