The Year in Photos: A Look Back at CFGNB’s 75th Anniversary Year
Photo Retrospective Offers Snapshot of Foundation Impact and Engagement
New Britain, Conn., November 18, 2016 – For 75 years, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has provided critical grant funding to the area’s non-profit community, helped shape the conversation about issues impacting our collective quality of life, and played a vital role in making Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington the best they can be.
As the Foundation’s 75th anniversary year comes to a close, it is time to take a look back at the Community Foundation’s impact, community engagement and the year that was.
January: The Community Foundation was among more than 50 of Connecticut’s leading foundations, hospitals, community institutions and government agencies to sponsor DataHaven’s 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey, the most comprehensive survey of quality of life ever conducted in Connecticut. The data is proving vital not only for the Foundation’s own grantmaking, but for non-profits, municipal officials, school boards and more as they plan for the future. In January, the Foundation convened a meeting at its Vine Street offices with other regional organizations and institutions to begin the process of data utilization and dissemination. From left, Mary Stuart of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Mark Abraham of DataHaven, Jim Williamson of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain and Mary Ellen Kowalewski of the Capital Region Council of Governments.
April: 2016 was a banner year of recognition for New Britain educators and all those – including the Community Foundation – who work so hard to provide outstanding early childhood development programming and opportunities for New Britain’s children. New Britain was recognized for the third time in the last four years by the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading with a Pacesetter Award, granted to a select few communities in the nation making major strides in school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and overall success. The Community Foundation’s Director of Community Initiatives Joeline Wruck, with the Campaign’s National Director Ralph Smith, took part in April’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading Funder-to-Funder Huddle in Washington, D.C.
May: The work of the Community Foundation earned a welcome and unexpected moment in the spotlight in May as WFSB TV-3’s Mark Zinni stopped by the Foundation offices to salute Foundation staff, feature the Foundation on the evening news and present the Foundation with a $1,000 donation. It was all part of WFSB’s “20 Towns in 20 Days” series highlighting the best of Connecticut communities. From left, former board chair J. Leo Gagne, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Trojanowski, Senior Philanthropic Advisor Ann Bova, Program and Scholarship Associate Kaylah Smith, Director of Community Initiatives Joeline Wruck and Office Manager Kim Duncan.
June: New Britain’s accolades for the year did not end with the Pacesetter award in April. In June, thanks to the community’s accomplishments in raising healthy, successful children, New Britain was selected in a national competition in Denver as an All-America City by the National Civic League, one of only 10 communities nationwide to be so designated. The Community Foundation-funded Coalition for New Britain’s Youth spearheaded the effort and the Community Foundation sponsored the 11-member delegation which made the award-winning presentation. Celebrating the big win are, left to right, kneeling: Jerrell Hargraves, Family Intervention Liaison, New Britain Board of Education and Alderman, City of New Britain; Tim Stewart, President, Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce; and Mallory Deprey, Program Coordinator, YWCA of New Britain. Back row, left to right: Robin Lamott Sparks, Executive Director, Coalition for New Britain’s Youth; Dayjah Green, former participant, House of Teens; Elaine Riccio, Site Coordinator, Jefferson Family Resource Center; Joe Vaverchak, District Supervisor of Attendance/Residency, Consolidated School District of New Britain; Kristian Rosado, Alderman, City of New Britain; Merrill Gay, Chair, New Britain Board of Education Wellness Committee; Kaylah Smith, Program & Scholarship Associate, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; and Nancy Sarra, Superintendent of Schools, Consolidated School District of New Britain.
July: As part of its 75th anniversary year celebration, the Community Foundation partnered with the New Britain Bees for four “Community Foundation Nights with the Bees” at New Britain Stadium. Each game night placed one of the four Foundation-supported communities in the spotlight, and the events featured a player autograph session for local fans, video scoreboard spots featuring the work of the Foundation and the distribution of free game tickets for local youth and families through various youth organizations. Signing autographs for Berlin youth at the July 8 game with the Bridgeport Bluefish were, left to right, Bees players Brian Dupra, Anthony Marzi of Berlin and Shawn Haviland of Middletown.
September: As part of its mission to partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership, the Community Foundation partnered with the Hospital of Central Connecticut and the Hospital for Special Care in September to present an open-to-the-public Community Health Needs Forum and Exchange. The event provided health care providers, policy makers, community stakeholders and other key informants the opportunity to take part in an information-gathering process that will shape the future delivery of health care in Central Connecticut. In first photo at right, Community Foundation Board Chair Laurence Tanner addresses the gathering. Joining Tanner, second from left in photo far right, are left to right, Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Hospital for Special Care, Lucille Janatka, president of the Hospital of Central Connecticut, and Community Foundation Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Trojanowski.
October: In 2014, the Community Foundation introduced its Community Sponsorship Awards program, which offers financial support in the form of sponsorships to local non-profits who organize community-wide special events. The highly popular program continued with great success in 2016, supporting a variety of special events in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Among them was Plainville-based PARC, which provides support services to people with developmental disabilities. Community Foundation Program and Scholarship Associate Kaylah Smith, third from left, took part along with a host of friends in PARC’s Helen Coughlin Memorial Walk at Norton Park on October 1.
October: One of the Community Foundation’s key services is to work with donors to help them meet their charitable giving goals, and to be a resource for local attorneys, financial/tax advisors and estate planners to help them serve their clients’ needs. On October 5 the Foundation sponsored a free-to-the-public seminar, “The Most Trusted Advisor,” at the New Britain Museum of American Art offering professional advisors and donors alike insights into how they can effectively work together to build trust and achieve goals. Taking part in the seminar were, left to right, Donna Roseman David, vice president and senior trust officer at U.S. Trust in Hartford, Atty. Robert A. Scalise, Jr., principal with Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, PC of New Britain, and Community Foundation Finance Committee Chair Marc Pelletier, CPA.
October: The New Britain Academy for Health Professions educates and prepares New Britain High School students for careers in the health care field. In October, the Community Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to the highly successful program from the Stanley and Bernice Shepard Fund, Johnstone Vance Memorial Fund, Vic and Jane Darnell Fund and Ronald and Alice Gilrain for general operating support. Celebrating the good news with a classroom full of Health Academy students on October 18 are (with the big check left to right), Community Foundation board member Mark Bernacki, academy consultant Maria Pietrantuono (seated), Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra, and Community Foundation Program and Scholarship Associate Kaylah Smith (seated). At far right are school district Chief Operations Officer Paul Salina, teacher Hilary Bristol and New Britain High School Principal Joe Pinchera.
November: Partnering with other bellwether community institutions to make our communities great is one of the Community Foundation’s hallmarks. One such institution is Central Connecticut State University. Since 1990, the Community Foundation has not only worked with CCSU on a variety of initiatives, but has also supported the institution and its students financially with more than 150 gifts – everything from scholarships to general operating grants to funding in support of studies and events – totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars. In November, the University presented the Community Foundation with its 2016 Outstanding Community Partner Award. Accepting the award from, at right, CCSU Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies, Michael P. Alfano, Ph.D., is Community Foundation Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Trojanowski.