ESSEX-— The Essex Community Fund this week announced donations totaling $47,920 to 38 non-profit groups and organizations serving the residents of Essex and surrounding towns. The funds were raised from donations made during 2012.
The awards were distributed Wednesday by community fund board members Jacqueline Doane and Mark Bombaci in a breakfast program held at the Centerbrook Meeting House. The Essex Community Fund had been raising and distributing charitable donations since the 1950s, a local version of the annual statewide United Way charitable fund drive.
The largest donation, $5,000, was made to the Old Saybrook-based Shoreline Soup Kitchens, which operates food pantries and meal sites in Essex and surrounding towns. The Friends In Service Here (FISH) organization, which provides rides to medical appointments, received $3,320. Essex Fuel Assistance received $3,000, with $3,000 going to the Essex Housing Authority for services at the Essex Court elderly housing complex. The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc., which coordinates meals on wheels programs for elderly residents, received $,2,500.
Other larger donations include Tri-Town Youth Services-$2,000, Gilead Community Services, which provides mental health services in the area, Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley-$1,500, and New Horizons Domestic Violence Community Health Service-$1,500. Essex Elementary School received $2,000 to provide free camperships for needy students in the town’s summer parks and recreation programs.
Also receiving donations were Bikes For Kids, Bushy Hill Nature Center, CDE Cooperative Nursery School , Community Music School, YMCA Camp Hazen on Cedar Lake in Chester, Essex Ambulance Association, Essex Fire Department Company 1, Essex Boy Scouts Troop 12, Essex Cub Scouts Troop 4, Essex Elementary School Foundation, Region 4 Education Foundation, Essex Tree Committee, Essex Veterans Memorial Hall Inc. Essex Historical Society, Essex Land Trust, Essex Police Union (DARE Program), Essex Historical Society, Essex Library Association, Ivoryton Library Association, Ivoryton Playhouse, Literacy Volunteers, Valley Shore YMCA, Valley Regional High School Safe Graduation Committee, Valley Shore Soccer Club, Early Childhood Council of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, and Teen Zone.