August 13, 2012
Nonprofit notebook

New England Air Museum opens expansion campaign

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks has officially launched its "We're On Our Way" expansion fundraising campaign with a $100,000 donation from United Technologies.

According to Susan R. Orred, the museum's director of development and marketing, "The fundraising goal of $400,000 will expand the museum's existing programs and will support a variety of new initiatives. These programs will strengthen the New England Air Museum's position as one of our state's and our region's major cultural assets."

The museum plays an important role, said Michael P. Speciale, the museum's executive director. "Our region has made major contributions to the development of aviation and aerospace. From Sikorsky and Kaman helicopters, Pratt & Whitney engines to Hamilton Sundstrand propellers and life support systems, and so many more. These plans for expansion will help us showcase through a variety of exhibits just how this area is not only revolutionary, but also visionary."

Gregory J. Hayes, senior vice president and chief financial officer for United Technologies Corp., said the museum "has the finest collection of historic aircraft and artifacts, and we're proud to share UTC's history with the community." He has joined the museum's board of directors.

Newly restored aircraft moving to the exhibit hangars include a Sikorsky S-59, an F-104 Starfighter, and an A-26 Invader. An exhibit telling the story of Charles Kaman's contributions to rotary wing aircraft is also underway. The "Flight Sim Spot" exhibit where visitors can simulate flying any aircraft, anywhere in the world was newly added this summer.

The museum showcases over 80 aircraft and related artifacts, and has the largest and most significant collection of aircraft built by Igor Sikorsky, including his WWI aircraft, the only remaining original American flying boat, and Sikorsky's first production helicopter, the R-4.

Located nearby Bradley International Airport, the New England Air Museum has been entertaining and educating visitors for over 50 years.

Banks target housing

A pair of grants from the foundation arms of local banks will enable the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund to increase its efforts in the development of affordable housing and foreclosure counseling outreach.

The Citizens Bank Foundation has provided $15,000 and People's United Community Foundation has provided $7,500. The money will support the organization's core functions; primarily affordable housing lending, foreclosure outreach and free counseling.

The fund is a community development financial institution working to create and sustain vibrant neighborhoods and communities through its lending and investment. In 24 years of lending, the fund has made more than $51 million in loans for projects that have produced more than 2,300 units of housing for low to moderate income households.

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Grant for child safety

The SBM Charitable Foundation has provided a $20,000 grant to the Violence and Injury Prevention Program, an initiative of the Trauma/Surgery Department at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, for its Kids In Safety Seats (KISS)-CT program.

With the grant, the KISS-CT program will host car seat clinics in Tolland and Windham counties, purchase car seats and safety equipment, conduct bike rodeos (where children learn the safety rules of the road and how to properly wear a helmet), and purchase new multi-sport helmets.

The SBM Charitable Foundation Inc. was founded in 2000 by Connecticut Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of the former Savings Bank of Manchester. The foundation's mission is bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly east of the Connecticut River in Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties. Priority categories for funding include health, human services, education, housing and the arts.

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Team Depot Volunteers

A team of 22 volunteers from five different Home Depot stores recently painted 4,000 square feet of walls in the employment training area at Allied Rehabilitation Centers in Enfield. They donated their time and skills through "Team Depot," The Home Depot's associate-led volunteer program that supports numerous nonprofit organizations.

Allied provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from 16 towns in north central Connecticut. A primary goal is community employment for as many participants as possible. In the employment training area, people learn skills for grocery, landscaping, business technology, janitorial and retail jobs to meet the needs of local employers.

The large size of the training area in Allier's building made painting more expensive than the agency's budget could accommodate. An Enfield Home Depot associate who visited Allied earlier this year recommended making a written request for Team Depot assistance and the painting project was the result.

District Team Depot Captain Ed Boyce organized the painting crew, which included members from Home Depot stores in Enfield, Manchester, Berlin, West Hartford and Middletown. The painters applied more than 55 gallons of paint and built a partition around a mechanical/electrical area.

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