Junior League Announces 2019 Community Grant Recipients

Shari Shapiro and Kathy Walker – Kids In Crisis Grant.

The Junior League of Greenwich (JLG) announced the recipients of its 2019 Community Grant Award: Open Arts Alliance and Kids In Crisis. The awards were presented by Kathy Walker, Junior League of Greenwich Community Director, on Monday, April 22, at the annual Community Advisory Committee (CAC) breakfast held at McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center. The Junior League’s CAC is comprised of 20 leaders from various community organizations, government agencies, and local businesses who serve as advisors and ambassadors to the JLG. “The annual Community Advisory Council meeting is a valuable forum for leaders in the community to share ideas, concerns, and observations about trends in Greenwich,” says Elizabeth Peyton, JLG President. “The collaboration and connections forged at this meeting and throughout the year help us all increase our effectiveness and reach in serving the Greenwich community.”

Each year the Junior League of Greenwich awards a grant to one or more community organizations based in Greenwich to provide financial support for a community need not being met by current Junior League projects or programs. The grant is intended to fund new initiatives or expand programs relating to community needs, rather than subsidize existing programs. This year, a $3,000 award is presented to Kids In Crisis and an award of $2,000 is presented to the Open Arts Alliance. “The JLG membership strongly supported awarding grants to these two organizations,” says Elizabeth Peyton. “These organizations are administering important programs that support vulnerable populations in our community.”

Kyle LeMaire, Rocco Natale and Kathy Walker – Open Arts Alliance Grant.

The grant of $3,000 to Kids In Crisis will support the Lighthouse program, specifically funding a promotional video. In 2018, Kids In Crisis took over Lighthouse, a program that serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their allies with a safe space weekly meeting. Teens can drop in to share life experiences and feelings in a confidential, non- threatening environment, and socialize and share common bonds. Lighthouse also hosts guest speakers, trips, barbecues, parties and movie nights. Lighthouse encourages LGBTQ youth to live their best, healthiest and most authentic lives. The video, which will be featured on the

Kids In Crisis website and used in presentations, will showcase what Lighthouse has done and intends to do in the community, while celebrating LGBTQ youth.

The Open Arts Alliance was presented an award of $2,000 to fund a new Junior Ensemble Tour “bridge program.” The Open Arts Alliance’s mission is to bring the arts to under-served members of the community. Open Arts Alliance runs arts enrichment programs for senior citizens with mobility issues, cognitive deficits and dementia. The organization’s bridge program connects teens with these seniors through performing arts. The new bridge program will bring dance to seniors, and will run for 10 weeks in the fall of 2019, culminating in a weekend workshop in December 2019. The bridge program will enable 10-15 students from the Greenwich area to work with hundreds of senior citizens.

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