Fairfield County’s Inner-City Foundation announces 25th year appeal

Fairfield County’s Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education announced their 25th Anniversary Year Appeal earlier this month 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,” says 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,” says 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,” says Stone. “Unless increased resources 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 supported by The Inner-City Foundation in the last year spoke at the Belle Haven benefit, leaving many in the house teary-eyed.

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 single 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.

Daniela Trotman (pictured right), a rising 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 charity’s second annual Ladies Luncheon benefit at The Belle Haven Club was a sold-out event for the second year in a row, and the mood was kept light by its master of ceremonies, Bonnie Levison, and featured speaker, John Gidding.

A trained architect and notable design expert, John Gidding entertained the crowd with before and after images of homes he had improved for the design show “Curb Appeal,” noting that even the simplest change can work wonders, such as changing how your house number is displayed. (He says no to stick-on numbers from the hardware store.) With a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, John works on design projects around the world, ranging from residential and institutional architecture to landscape and urban design. His work includes the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Union Square in New York, the campus plan for Carnegie Mellon University and a pavilion for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. John has hosted many design shows for television and is regularly the “go-to” design expert for shows such as the Today Show and Good Morning, America.

Bonnie Levison, who lives in Greenwich, was the event’s master of ceremonies and as a lead storytelling instructor with The Moth, an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, she lived up to her reputation as a world-class entertainer. She has performed stories on The Moth Mainstage and Story Slams as well as appeared on the Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour on NPR.  A co-founder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival, Bonnie produces comedy and storytelling shows and created and hosts Greenwich Historical Society’s long running “Story Barn.”

The Inner-City Foundation’s next event will be their 25th annual benefit dinner, which will take place Nov. 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. For tables and tickets or for more information about The Inner-City Foundation or to donate to The Inner-City Foundation’s 25th Year Appeal, visit The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education at innercityfoundation.org, email [email protected] or call 203-416-1496.

About 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 Foundation for Charity & Education at innercityfoundation.org, email [email protected] or call 203-416-1496.

Pam Pagnani, Audrey Dornier, John Gidding, Missy OShaughnessy, Janie-Gestal.

Pam Pagnani, Audrey Dornier, John Gidding, Missy OShaughnessy, Janie Gestal.

Nicole Cassidy and Jamile de Lima

Nicole Cassidy and Jamile de Lima

Daniela Trotman

Daniela Trotman

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress