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The Community Chest Awards Emergency Grants to Support Music and Youth Programs

November 20, 2018 , Luhrs & Associates

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The Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer performs. Photo Credit: Chris Marksbury

(Eastern Bergen County, New Jersey; November 20, 2018) — Throughout The Community Chest’s 85 years, the organization has been a safety net responding to emergency needs in the community.  This fall, The Chest stepped up and provided two emergency grants after its annual allocations were made.  These emergency grant awards were for the JCC Thurnauer School of Music’s Music Discovery program provided in the Englewood Public Schools and Bergen Family Center’s The Zone that lost critical funding.

 The Chest awarded a $20,000 grant to the JCC Thurnauer School of Music’s Music Discovery Partnership program to provide music study for students unable to afford lessons in the Englewood Public Schools.  With the Englewood Board of Education’s funding priorities redirected for other uses, the program faced closure.  Research shows music education increases academic scores and improves school attendance.

 “We are overwhelmed by the care and generosity The Community Chest has shown by contributing $20,000 from its emergency fund to help us sustain our Young People’s Chorus @ Thurnauer program in partnership with the Englewood Public School District.  To be able to call for help from The Community Chest at a critical moment in our growth and to receive such a heartfelt, supportive response is extraordinary.  We are deeply grateful,” said Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, Director, JCC Thurnauer School of Music.

 A second grant of $15,000 was awarded to Bergen Family Center’s The Zone, an afterschool program assisting low-income middle-school youth in need of emotional and social support.  This program provides essential mental health services, learning support, mentoring, recreation and nutritious meals to youth.  With changes to the Janis E. Dismus Middle School’s programming, resources previously dedicated to operate and house The Zone were unavailable.

Bergen Family Center The Zone

Middle school students from Bergen Family Center’s The Zone. Photo Credit: Bergen Family Center

The Chest supports area nonprofit organizations addressing issues, including health and mental health, hunger, arts programming, the environment, and volunteerism for approximately 50,000 people in the area.  “For 85 years, The Community Chest has responded to ongoing needs in the area, while also helping neighbors respond to unforeseen emergency situations.  The Chest served as a safety net for the JCC Thurnauer School of Music and Bergen Family Center’s urgent financial needs even after our annual allocation awards were made.  Working together, our neighbors can count on The Chest to lead initiatives and support nonprofits to make local communities stronger and benefit people in the area,” said Richard Kennedy, President, Board of Managers.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them in competitive grants to nonprofit agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens.  Coordinating           and planning services are also provided in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.  The organization’s Board of Managers implements a thorough process of screening, research, and monitoring to assure the funds raised are directed to the most worthy           programs and the areas of greatest need.


The public can help meet the increased need and emergency demands for services.  Contributions of any size may be made by check to The Community Chest, located at 122 South Van Brunt Street, 2nd Floor, Englewood, New Jersey 07631.  Donations may be made online on the organization’s web site at www.thecommunitychestebc.org/.  Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law.  For information, call 201-568-7474 or contact shelly@communitychestofenglewood.org.

About The Community Chest

Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 85 years.  The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County.  Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens.  The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.

The Community Chest’s Board of Managers is comprised of community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in need.  People interested in being considered for board membership may contact executive director Shelly Wimpfheimer at (201) 568-7474.

 For further information about The Chest, visit www.thecommunitychestebc.org/ or contact (201) 568-7474.  Stay updated about the organization’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.

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