Chelsea Groton Foundation Awards $464K to Support Area Non-profits and Students

Monday, June 22, 2020

NORWICH, CT -- The Chelsea Groton Foundation awarded over $464K during the Spring giving cycle – $451,813 in grants to 85 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island, $5,900 and counting to area non-profits through the Acts of Kindness program, and $6,500 in scholarships to 13 graduating seniors from area high schools. Inclusive of these donations, the Foundation has provided over $4 million in total grants to the community since 1999.

Grants to Area Organizations

Over $85,000 was approved for organizations that needed emergency support for basic human needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency funding included $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut for their Neighbors for Neighbors Fund, $10,000 to the emergency food assistance program at Jonnycake Center of Westerly, and $7,500 to Operation Fuel for emergency energy grants for New London County residents. Due to the increased need across all giving categories, the Foundation approved the funding of over 30 more organizations than usual in a single giving cycle.

Also included in this dollar amount is a $100,000 grant to Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC) for Global City Norwich, a multi-year project of revitalizing Downtown Norwich, through multicultural events and entrepreneurship. This is the third year the Chelsea Groton Foundation has committed a $100,000 grant to the Global City Norwich program. Funds are used to identify and train entrepreneurs of many cultural backgrounds, build partnerships in order to help entrepreneurs find appropriate storefront spaces and funding for their businesses, and create a thriving downtown environment that will ensure increased traffic in area businesses.

“Chelsea Groton Bank has been a bastion of strength and support in Connecticut since before the Civil War. For more than 165 years, we have been serving our customers and communities through famines, storms, pandemics, crashes, wars and more. While the COVID-19 pandemic is a healthcare crisis, it also carries very serious economic implications. In recent months, our community and our world has witnessed a tremendous loss of life, as well as loss of jobs, businesses and non-profits who play critical roles in contributing to our shared community,” said Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, and President of the Chelsea Groton Foundation. “I’m incredibly proud of the organizations who pivoted to find new ways to help and support people, even while socially distant.”

“When faced with these unique times, the Chelsea Groton Foundation Board responded by temporarily adjusting guidelines in order to provide financial support to more organizations in need, and to support those who previously received funding but hadn’t yet spent the grant for its intended purpose. We are proud to give to organizations that support basic human needs – hunger, homelessness and healthcare – as well as those that provide education, economic growth, arts and cultural experiences, and more, especially in this great time of need.”

Acts of Kindness Giving to Area Organizations

In 2014, we launched our Acts of Kindness program in honor of our 160th anniversary. Through this program, each employee chose a favorite local charity, non-profit or cause, and Chelsea Groton then made a donation on behalf of each employee to the organization they had selected. The response to Acts of Kindness from employees, customers, and the 300-plus organizations we serve throughout the community was so overwhelmingly positive that we’ve continued the program for the last six years. When COVID-19 began to impact our local community, we mobilized efforts to ask our employees for their organization of choice earlier in the year, in order to more quickly distribute funds to the local organizations who were in need of our support. Our Acts of Kindness comes at a time of uncertainty for our community and the Chelsea Groton Foundation has proudly distributed $5,900 and counting, to support the work of local non-profits through this program.

Scholarships to Graduating Seniors

This year, the Foundation also awarded scholarships to graduating seniors who represent 13 area high schools.  Each of the individuals who applied for the scholarships excelled in academia, leadership and extracurricular activities during their high school years, and plans to pursue college degrees.  

The 13 recipients of $500 scholarships were: Attitan Smith of East Lyme High School; Ellanora Lerner of Fishers Island School; Kyle Mashia-Thaxton of Fitch High School through the Groton Scholarship Foundation; Nikian Perry of Fitch High School; August Brown of Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School; Cassandra Cannon of New London Multi Magnet High School; Teala Avery of Norwich Free Academy; Kenna Riley of Norwich Technical School; Francesca Lupo of St. Bernard High School; Lucas Holliman of Stonington High School; Kasey Kirchhoff of Waterford High School; Andrew Salama of Westerly High School; and Daniel Schroeder of Wheeler High School.

About the Chelsea Groton Foundation

The Chelsea Groton Foundation was formed in June 1998 as a Section 501(c) (3) organization. Initially endowed with a $2 million donation from Chelsea Groton Bank, the Foundation has, to date, awarded over $4 million in grants to hundreds of scientific, educational and charitable organizations located within the Bank’s market area.



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