Impact Fairfield County (“Impact FFC”), one of the largest women’s organizations in the county, presented $100,000 checks to their 2023 Grant Winners, The Catholic Academy of Bridgeport (“CAB”) and The Center for Empowerment and Education (“CEE”) in Danbury.
In Bridgeport, CAB Executive Director Angela Pohlen and Principal of St. Raphael Sister Elizabeth Doyle accepted the check presented by Impact FFC Co-Presidents Katharine Lumby and Jenny San Jose. Mayor of Bridgeport, Joseph P. Ganim, and State Senator Tony Hwang also spoke. Mayor Ganim said, “My seven brothers and sisters and I went here, making it a special place to me as well as to so many others. Your grant of $100,000 is making an investment in our youth. I moved back to Bridgeport after law school to have an impact, and that’s what Impact FFC is doing for our community.”
With the Impact FFC grant, CAB will open “The Happy Hollow Outdoor Learning Center” at its St. Raphael campus, providing a safe, educational outdoor environment. Students will benefit from sensory play areas, an outdoor classroom, playground equipment and a sports court for teamwork, social problem-solving and gross motor skills. The Center will also run a summer camp to support year-round programming.
“It’s organizations like Impact FFC that believe in us and believe like we do that when it comes to our kids, good is never good enough and great can always be greater. Impact FFC is making us greater. This gift is a permanent improvement that will affect all of our Academy and will impact the experience of generations of students to come,” said Pohlen.
Senator Hwang spoke about the power of Impact FFC saying, ”You have done an incredible service to this community. This grant will transform the opportunity for children to thrive and enjoy learning. What Impact Fairfield County has done is demonstrate that we are all part of a broader community with its great work.”
In Danbury, President & CEO Ashley Dunn and Director of Community Involvement Cara Mackler accepted the grant check on behalf of CEE. With the Impact FFC grant, CEE will expand their Community Impact team, providing critically needed Prevention, Education and Training programs across 100% of schools in Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, Ridgefield, Redding, and Sherman. These programs provide empowerment, education and support services with the goal of breaking the cycle of interpersonal violence.
“We have not stopped smiling since the day we were selected as a Grant Winner. The thought of 264 women standing behind us and supportive of our mission is unbelievable. We’re so excited to put these funds to work here in Fairfield County and to be a spark for transformation at the state level and beyond,” said Dunn.
This year’s grant to CEE reinforces Impact FFC’s commitment to serving all of Fairfield County, marking one of its first grants to an organization that provides support for much of Northern Fairfield County.
Mackler noted, “It was inspirational to hear the other finalists’ transformational projects and think about how we could work with them. The reach of Impact FFC is truly endless.”
“The 2023 grant year saw an extraordinary group of applicants from across Fairfield County, and we couldn’t be more pleased to support the relentless efforts by CAB and CEE to make an impact in their communities. These initiatives will have long-lasting, positive ripple effects,” said Impact FFC Co-President Katharine Lumby.
Photo shows from left: Katharine Lumby, Co-President of Impact FFC; Ashley Dunn, President & CEO of The Center for Empowerment and Education; Jenny San Jose, Co-President of Impact FFC; Cara Mackler, Director of Community Impact of The Center for Empowerment and Education (Photo credit: Impact FFC)