Doylestown, PA (October 17, 2019) – More than 200 community service leaders, non-profit organizations, and local governmental leaders attended the Foundations Community Partnership “Partnership in Youth Services” luncheon ceremony held at the Doylestown Country Club in Doylestown on October 16. This year the event honored 12 non-profit community programs in Bucks County that are making a difference in the lives of local children and their families with monetary grants of $3,000 each.
The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior VP, U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop.
“One in five children under the age of six struggles with more than one traumatic experience,” said Dr. Betancourt, “At Sesame Workshop, our goal is to build circles of care among the community, caregivers, parents, and education providers.”
Foundations Executive Director Ron Bernstein, Dr. Betancourt, Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, and Foundations Board Member Tracy Pasternak Willis presented plaques and checks to the 12 local non-profit organizations.
Among the community programs receiving grants were:
- Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need plans to use the grant to provide assistance to 100 families in crisis, especially those who need emergency shelter and a roof over their heads. Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need assists families who have been evicted and are living in their cars or on the street, and also provides rental assistance, move-in assistance, utilities, gas, & car repairs, and rides to mental health, welfare, and medical appointments.
- Autism Cares Foundation’s Fitness Program “Fit N Focus” provides a fitness program to 105 special needs individuals ages 13 and up. The grant will help them increase engagement and endurance among participants and provide a consistent fitness activity to enhance balance, spatial recognition, fine motor skills, and motor coordination.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County will use the grant to initiate a High School Bigs Program at Walt Disney Elementary School for at-risk students in grades K-5. The program is designed to improve school attitude and behavior, grades, and attendance with the help of supportive adults.
- Conwell-Egan High School, in partnership with the Peace Center, will use the grant to introduce a Life Skills program that teaches 100 students good decision-making, how to manage strong emotions, create healthy relationships, prevent sexual harassment, and appreciate diversity.
- Family Promise of Lower Bucks will use the grant to fund gap expenditures for homeless families to speed the process of regaining sustainable housing and supporting their critical needs, such as transportation expenses to job interviews, childcare, food, and other support. It will serve 70 participants.
- The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., will use the grant to support their Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Education and Intervention Group, which is a weekly group for detained adolescents at the Bucks County Youth Center. 175 youth participate in the program, which provides education and intervention focused on substance abuse, decision-making and healthy relationships with peers.
- Hammerheads Sled Hockey Association will use the grant to purchase a blade sharpening system to increase performance of the 32 disabled youth of varies ages and abilities who participate in sled hockey. They will be able to sharpen their own sled blades in the maintenance of equipment.
- The Links – Bucks County Chapter will use the grant for their Links to Leadership program, which serves 300 participants. The program helps increase awareness and opportunities for youth to participate in leadership, mentoring, STEM college/career planning, self-care/self esteem, cultural expression and financial literacy activities.
- Shriners Hospital for Children will use the grant for their Urgent Pediatric Fracture Clinic, which provides state of the art orthopedic care to children, including full-service care and ultra-low dose x-rays, regardless of ability to pay. Nearly 2,000 youth will be served with the help of the grant.
- Woods Services will use the grant to enhance the education experience and improve learning for students with a wide variety of special needs and challenges through music therapy in partnership with The Conservatory. 283 students participate in the program.
- YMCA of Bucks County will use the grant to provide hands-on food literacy education, which highlights nutrition, food safety, preparation, and cooking skills through a cooking program for 120 vulnerable youth at the Quakertown Y.
YWCA Bucks County will use the grant to offer a Kindergarten Readiness Bootcamp for 30 students, which will provide research-informed and evidence-based summer enrichment activities to equip vulnerable preschool youth with the tools to achieve literacy, math, language and social development skills.
In addition to the grant awards, the Morris M. Davis Award is a $1,500 award scholarship given annually to a student intern whose contributions to the community are judged to be an outstanding example. The award was presented to Deepti Tantry of Jamison, who is studying at University of Pennsylvania and is a Central Bucks East High School graduate. She interned at the Bucks County Opportunity Council.
“Foundations is proud to offer community grants for the 21st year in a row through our Partnership in Youth Services Program and with the support of our sponsors,” said Bernstein. “These grants help Bucks County non-profits make a significant impact on the lives of young people and their families, and offer valuable enrichment programs in the community.”
Sponsors of the program included:
Platinum Sponsors: Theodora B. Betz Foundation; Bishop & Associates; Inc.; Centric Bank; Davis Trachtenberg, Inc.; The Carl Koenig Family; Merrill Lynch Doylestown Office
Gold Sponsors: Antheil Maslow & MacMinn, LLP; AXA Foundation; The Bernstein Family; William E. Boger, CPA; Bucks County Commissioners; Bucks County Community College Foundation; Magellan Behavioral Health of PA, Inc.; Penn Community Bank; Charles H. Rose, CLU, CHFC; Ian Rose, FC; Dr. Joseph Stella & Family; The Center for Neuropsychology & Counseling, PC; The Tantry Family
Silver Sponsors: Bucks County Herald; Catalyst Center for Nonprofit Management; The Conte Family; First Bank; Fulton Bank; Limor Goodman, PC; New Britain Developers LP; The Weldon Family; The Zagerman Family; Zateeny Loftus, LLP
Bronze Sponsors: Advanced Micro Computer Specialists, Inc.; Boucher & James, Inc., Consulting Engineers; Brody Public Relations; The Bunin Family; Doylestown Deli; Doylestown Wealth Management; The Friedman Family; The Hanna Family; Dr. Nancy Miller and Family; J. Carroll Molloy Realtor; Ninety-Five North Marketing; The Willis Family; The Present Company, LLC; Roman Delight – Fountainville; Rutherford’s Camera Shop; Sportswear Plus; Streamline Payroll, LLC; The Schultes Family; VIZI Printing Services
Standing (left to right): Deepti Tantry, U Penn student; Maura Roberts, Woods Services; Kristin Chapin, YWCA; Rachel Kurtz, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bucks County; Jessica Schwartz, Family Promise of Lower Bucks; Jacqui Makowski, Autism Cares Foundation; Trish Feinthel, YMCA of Bucks County; Jen King, The Council of Southeastern Pa.; Cherylayne Walker, The Links, Bucks County; Ron Bernstein, FCP; Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop
Seated (left to right): Nikki Farrior, Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need; Matthew Fischer, Conwell-Egan Catholic High School; Theodore Manko, Hammerheads Sled Hockey Association; Bonnie Meister, Shriner’s Hospital for Children