Local Nonprofits Receive Grant Allocations from Kiwanis Club of New Canaan

Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan, 24 local organizations on Friday received a boost to their funding.

The international nonprofit, whose mission is “Serving the children of the world,” handed out checks to local organizations that address youth during its annual allocations breakfast.

Leaders of local non-profit organizations talk and enjoy coffee and breakfast on Friday morning at the YMCA. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

Leaders of local non-profit organizations talk and enjoy coffee and breakfast on Friday morning at the YMCA. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

This year, the Kiwanis Club allocated a total of $9,620 which comes almost entirely from fundraising events—mainly the Zerbini Family Circus, which also benefits the New Canaan YMCA and will be held Saturday, June 18.

Beth Jones, head of the Kiwanis Allocations Committee, said nonprofits seeking support undergo a multi-step process.

“We start by looking at how much money we have to give away,” Jones said during the breakfast, held at the Y. “Once we get all the applications in, we sit down, they usually come to my house for lunch, and we go through all of the applications and eliminate the ones that do not fit our mission of helping children of the world.”

An executive of the New Canaan Land Trust receives his allocation for $500. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

An executive of the New Canaan Land Trust receives his allocation for $500. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

Once the Allocations Committee prioritizes which groups they want to allocate funds to, Jones and the rest of the committee, “presents it to the entire Kiwanis Club, we vote on it, and then we give the final list to the treasurer.”

“It is usually very amicable process,” Jones said.

According to BJ Flagg, president of Kiwanis Club of New Canaan, there are three main fundraising events that make the allocations possible.

“We have a couple of major fundraisers, one is the circus that is coming up on June 18,” Flagg said. “There is also something we do around the Holiday Stroll and in March we do a St.Patrick’s Day dinner event.”

Joyce Sixsmith, co-founder of Ram Council, was an allocation recipient. Ram Council is focused on promoting a substance-free lifestyle among adolescents in New Canaan.

Representatives from 24 local organizations such as Silvermine Arts Center and ABC of New Canaan. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

Representatives from 24 local organizations such as Silvermine Arts Center and ABC of New Canaan. Photo Credit: Emilia Savini

“We will put the money towards more programming and substance-free activities,” Sixsmith said. “We are so grateful because we are a new non-profit and it just seems like a great fit because the Kiwanis Club and Ram Council are all about serving youth.”

For Flagg, this event celebrates the hard work of local nonprofits and their impact on the community.

”I think the most incredible thing is that the town of New Canaan really binds together and all of the people who we have allocated the money to, cover a wide spectrum of services to our community,” she said. “This is incredible and every year it gets a little bigger and we help more people.”

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