The Essex Foundation’s Bruce Glowac (centre) is joined by Essex Veterans Memorial Hall members Paul Knudsen (left) and Jerry LaMark at the recently installed sign announcing the Foundation’s Matching Gift Challenge to raise funds for building expansion to better serve local veterans and the greater community. Photo courtesy of Essex Foundation
The Essex Foundation Board has launched a matching fundraising campaign to support members of Essex Veterans Memorial Hall in their efforts to expand and improve the building to accommodate more members of the community and better meet their needs.
Plans are in place to expand and remodel the kitchen, add a new porch and outdoor dining area, install a new roof and ADA accessible ramp, and update the meeting room interior. Hall members will provide most of the labor, but need the help of the community to raise $100,000 to cover all other expenses. Every dollar up to $50,000 donated by individuals and organizations through the Essex Foundation will be matched 100% by the Foundation. A $50 donation to the Essex Foundation becomes a $100 donation to Essex Veterans Memorial Hall. A donation of $250 will be matched with an additional $250. No contribution is too small or too big and all will have a double impact.
According to Foundation President Bruce Glowac, “This is the type of community project that we are honored to support and encourage others to do the same. The hall is not only a great resource for our retired and serving military, but also for our local scout and community service groups.
Essex Veterans Memorial Hall is the last known stand-alone 501(c)(19) non-profit veterans organization on the East Coast. After World War II, the city of Essex turned over Centerbrook School to the group for $1 with the stipulation that the organization would remain intact and assume full responsibility for the upkeep of the building. Located at 3 Westbrook Road in Centerbrook, it now serves as a resource for 180 members, their families and the greater community. Other non-profit groups use the room free of charge for meetings and activities. Non-members can rent the space for special events and celebrations. With recent renovations, parking improvements and the installation of a back-up generator, also supported by grants from the Essex Foundation, the Hall can also be used as a community comfort station during storm-related power outages. Paul Knudsen, chairman of the Hall’s House committee, oversees the planning and construction work.
“We are truly grateful for the tremendous support and shared enthusiasm to make the hall a more vibrant community center. Most people don’t know that you don’t have to be a member to eat lunch here or rent the space – I hope this project helps spread the word.
Founded in 1970, The Essex Foundation, Inc. is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the citizens of Essex by providing support for new services and unmet needs by d other charities. All donations to the Essex Veterans Hall Expansion Project will be matched until November 30 and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information and to donate online, go to www.TheEssexFoundation.org/matching-gift-challenge. To donate by mail, send a check payable to The Essex Foundation, with EVMH Project in the subject line, and mail it to PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426.