Our program featured the awarding of our 2023 Easton Rotary Service Foundation grants. Our Foundation has roots in the 1970s and 1980s and hoped to reach $75,000 by our 75th anniversary in 1990. That goal was exceeded, and the Foundation has continued to grow, hovering at a value of approximately $300,000 depending on market conditions. Individual donations, fundraisers, and profits from investments have allowed us to distribute $826,659 into our community over the last 25 years. Foundation Chair aul Braden resented checks to the following recipients:
$5,000 — Summerbridge: This program serves economically disadvantaged and academically talented 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students. The free program is hosted by Moravian Academy and is intended to help these students attain their goal of a college education. The teachers are all students as well, and are enrolled in college degree programs studying education.
$2,500 — Via Lehigh Valley: This organization originated in 1952 thanks to parents who saw the need for services to help physically and mentally challenged adults. In the 1970s it was known as LARC and provided employment services. Ultimately, they merged with United Cerebral Palsy and created Via. Some clients find employment at a workshop within Via itself. Others find work in other companies. Some are able to enter the workforce in competitive wage jobs.
$5,000 — ProJeCt of Easton: This grant will help fund the summer SIZZLE program at the Easton Middle School for kids from Kindergarten through 5th grade. At its heart, SIZZLE is a literacy program but they also teach life skills. Field trips and visiting speakers keep the program fresh. This will help approximately 150 students avoid the summer slide in their reading skills.
$5,000 — Easton YMCA/Pinebrook: As the YMCA continues to listen to the needs of the community, they have found a growing list of mental health issues since COVID. This grant will help establish a wellness studio in one of the old racquet ball courts. The space will be used for yoga, tai chi, and other relaxing programs. The Pinebrook Family Answers personnel will help train the Y Staff in trauma-related issues. This money will double thanks to a District 7430 Matching Grant.