A young boy participating in the Vermont Foodbank "BackPack" program, picking carrots. (Photo courtesy of Vermont Food Bank).

A young boy participating in the Vermont Foodbank "BackPack" program, picking carrots. (Photo courtesy of Vermont Food Bank).

Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund announces more than $324,000 in grants to support efforts in the North Country

Students will have nourishing meals for the weekend. Environmental organizations will teach local youth about invasive species. And more.

CONCORD, NH (PRESS RELEASE) – The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation recently awarded 19 grants totaling $324,906 through its competitive application program.

Students will have nourishing meals for the weekend. A community church will get a new ADA-compliant bathroom and needed kitchen renovations to better serve members of the community. Environmental organizations will teach local youth about invasive species and how to prevent their spread in the Connecticut River Watershed. And more.

Established in 2006, the Tillotson Fund is one of the largest permanent rural philanthropies in the country, distributing more than $3 million in grants annually to support projects that focus on community revitalization. Grants are awarded to municipal, educational and nonprofit organizations throughout northern New Hampshire and bordering communities in Vermont and southern Quebec.

Grants recommended by the volunteer Tillotson Fund Advisory Committee included $8,522 to the Vermont Foodbank to support its “BackPack” program in the Lunenburg and Brighton, Vermont schools, which sends students home with nourishing meals for the weekend.

The BackPack program serves more than 1,200 kids in 28 schools and provides more than 45,000 bags or 160,000 pounds of food for children in need.

“When the dismissal bell rings on a Friday afternoon, that can also signal a time when some kids don’t get enough to eat,” said Kirsten Scobie, director of the Tillotson Funds at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. “Thanks to the BackPack program, hundreds of kids will go home with grocery bags of food in their backpacks to help keep their bellies full until Monday.”

Grant awards were made to the following organizations:

Association Sportive des Jeunes Handicapes de L’Estrie, Coaticook, Québec received $4,725 to expand adaptive recreation services for teens with disabilities in the Coaticook region.

Corporation de developpement communautaire de la MRC de Coaticook, Coaticook, Québec received $19,650 for general operations and to develop shared marketing tools.

Gorham Community Learning Center, Gorham, NH received $10,000 to support the purchase of a new 12-person van so the center can provide learning opportunities in Gorham and surrounding communities and provide transportation to and from school.

Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, South Burlington, VT received $3,000 to provide four scholarships for high school students from Coös and Essex counties to attend a high quality, residential, academic and arts immersion program.

Grace Community Church, Canaan, VT received $5,059 to renovate an existing bathroom to meet ADA compliance and install a commercial sink in the kitchen to help with meal preparations.

Nansen Ski Club, Milan, NH received $6,000 to complete final construction of the warming hut.

New Hampshire Lakes Association, Concord, NH received $17,500 to support six students from northern Coös County to participate in a paid summer program that blends environmental education and workforce development.

New Hampshire Teen Institute, Nashua, NH received $24,500 to provide scholarships for 20 middle and 25 high school students to attend leadership training and drug abuse prevention programs.

North Country Center for the Arts d/b/a Jean’s Playhouse, Lincoln, NH received $4,000 to bring eight free professional children’s theatre performances to the Rialto in Lancaster, New Hampshire during summer of 2017.

North Country Teacher Education Certification Program, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH received $66,000 to provide stipends to teacher candidates who are completing student teaching requirements.

Pew Owners’ Association of the Stark Union Church, Groveton, NH received $9,000 to support exterior renovations and improve its existing website.

Rozynski Arts Centre, Ayer’s Cliff, Québec received $20,000 to purchase an electric kiln and eight electric potter’s wheels.

Tillotson Center, Inc., Colebrook, NH received $35,000 (over three years) for general operating support.

Town of Canaan, Canaan, VT received $22,000 to complete phase three of the Heart and Soul community engagement process and strategic plan for the Town of Canaan, Vermont.

Trout Unlimited, Lancaster, NH received $19,500 to continue providing youth education and preventing invasive plant spread in the Upper Connecticut River watershed.

Upper Connecticut Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Group, Lancaster, NH received $20,000 to implement an invasive species prevention plan and establish an education and management program for local youth over two years.

Vermont Foodbank, Barre, VT received $8,522 to support the BackPack Program in Lunenburg and Brighton, Vermont during the 2016-2017 school year.

Vermont River Conservancy, Montpelier, VT received $10,450 to complete construction of a timber frame hut and conduct a feasibility study to expand the trail system in the Nulhegan Basin.

Weathervane Theatre Players, Inc., Whitefield, NH received $20,000 to support general operations, replace lighting equipment, and provide online ticketing.

The next deadline for the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund is Friday, July 14, 2017. Please visit our website for more information and updated grant program goals: www.nhcf.org/Tillotson.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.