Fairfield County’s Inner-City Foundation Announces 25th Year Appeal at Belle Haven Benefit

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TV Host and Design Expert John Gidding at The Belle Haven Club earlier this month with Pam Pagnani of New Canaan and Audrey Dornier, Missy O’Shaughnessy and Janie Gestal of Greenwich. The women, along with Helen FitzPatrick, also of Greenwich, were the chairpersons of the Second Annual Ladies Luncheon Benefit for The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education; Mr. Gidding was the featured speaker at the event. Photo, ChiChi Ubiña.

 

Fairfield County’s Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education recently announced their 25th Anniversary Year Appeal at their second annual Ladies Luncheon Benefit in Greenwich.

The benefit provides critical funding for the charity’s support of programs serving the neediest adults and children in Fairfield County, and this year also served as the kick-off for the charity’s 25th Year Appeal.

The foundation hopes to raise $2.5 million with their appeal, more than twice what they raised last year.

“In this, our 25th year of giving, we felt it was the right time to set the bar high,” said Richard T. Stone, executive director of The Inner-City Foundation. “Need is up but funding is down. State budget cuts in April have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable members of our community.”

In April more than $70 million was cut from Connecticut’s state budget. Cuts have hit local education and area “safety net” services hard, with $31 million cut from education funding for municipalities and $40 million cut from programs providing food, shelter and medical aid. Needy children and families have been especially affected.

“The programs that have been affected the most are critical to Fairfield County,” said Stone. “Public education and social services are essential. A lot of these safety net organizations that have been cut are often a person, or a family’s, last resort; they are places that provide the most basic human needs like food, shelter and medical aid,” said Stone. “Unless increased re-sources materialize from other places now, such as foundations like ours, a lot of people are going to have nowhere to turn.”

How The Inner-City Foundation Affects Lives
Two beneficiaries of some of the programs sup-ported by The Inner-City Foundation in the last year spoke at the Belle Haven benefit, leaving many in the house teary-eyed.

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Jamile de Lima (right), pictured with Nicole Cassidy, the development director of Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport. Photo by ChiChi Ubiña.

Jamile de Lima is a single mother of two sons and was a beneficiary of funding provide by Inner-City to Mercy Learning Center where women learn to speak English, earn GED’s, and often go on to community college. Jamile said in her talk that her experience at Mercy had changed her life. (Jamile de Lima (right), pictured above with Nicole Cassidy, the development director of Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport. Photo by ChiChi Ubiña.)

Born in Brazil, Jamile came to the United States as a teenager but had to drop out of high school after giving birth to her first son, and begin the daily struggle of trying to make it as a sin-gle mother without an education. When Jamile was able once again to pursue her dream of completing her education, she came to Mercy Learning Center to join a high school completion program. In the spring of 2014, she earned her high school equivalency diploma, and has since gone on to community college, a job, and the promise of a great future for her family.

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Daniela Trotman (pictured right), a ris-ing sophomore at Fairfield University, also spoke at the event. Daniela was the recipient of an Inner-City Foundation scholarship to attend Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, where she was an outstanding student and community member.

As a cheerleader and member of the choir, Student Council, and other programs, Daniela was a role model for her peers.

At her high school graduation Daniela received the Maximilian Kolbe Award, the highest honor at Kolbe Cathedral High School, and was also recognized for four years of perfect attendance, outstanding service to the community, and was the recipient of the Connecticut Student Leadership Award.

Daniela is looking forward to continuing her college education, and to her future as a Fairfield University graduate in 2019, thanks in part to the opportunity she was given by The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education.


The Inner-City Foundation For Charity & Education is a 501(c)(3) non-sectarian foundation that supports organizations addressing the most basic human needs of Fairfield County residents seeking help. Organizations providing food, clothing, shelter, education and counseling to at-risk and needy children and adults of Fairfield County may apply for grants, and will be considered. The Inner-City Foundation seeks to support organizations that provide not only a safety net but also a springboard to a better future for its Fairfield County neighbors most in need, providing not only help but hope. Founded in 1992, the Inner-City Foundation has provided more than $28 million to about 200 local organizations over the last quarter-century.

For more information about The Inner-City Foundation or to donate visit The Inner-City Founda-tion for Charity & Education at www.innercityfoundation.org, email communications@innercity-foundation.org or call 203.416.1496.


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