Androscoggin Bank has awarded $17,000 to Maine nonprofit organizations as part of its ABCommunity grant program.

To qualify, groups must support community activities focused on the arts, education, environment, health, social services or animal welfare, and community developments that help the environment, health or neighborhoods.

The bank awards $40,000 a year through the program. Androscoggin announced these awards and recipients:

$5,000 to The Nezinscot Guild in Turner, which provides employment and work-related support to people with developmental disabilities, autism, mental illness and brain injuries. The money will go toward developing and marketing a new retail product that’s designed and manufactured by employees with disabilities.

$2,500 to Friends of Merrymeeting Bay in Richmond, which works to protect and improve the ecosystems of the bay using research, advocacy, education and land protection. The funds will improve the capacity for community education and outreach and will bring the organization into compliance with a requirement of the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.

$2,500 to the Androscoggin River Watershed Council in Bethel, which works to improve the environment and promote healthy and prosperous communities in the watershed. The funds will support marketing efforts through upgrading and developing a Google Maps application for the group’s website.

$1,000 to the Lake Auburn Watershed Neighborhood Association in Auburn, which promotes responsible development and environmental outreach programs. The funds will go toward building a trail to link North Auburn and West Auburn villages with Lake Auburn.

$1,000 to the Greater Franklin Development Council in Farmington, which promotes community and economic development. The money will be used to enhance economic development in the Jay-Livermore Falls area.

$1,000 to the Norway Historical Society, which preserves and shares the heritage and culture of the town and the contributions of its residents. The funds will support the development of a history program with students from the Guy Rowe Elementary School.

$1,000 to the Brenda Marie Foundation in Monmouth, which helps people visit loved ones in medical facilities. The money will be used to improve marketing, fundraising and technology.

$1,000 to The Compassionate Friends — Lewiston Chapter, which provides emotional support for parents and their families grieving the loss of a child. The money will help provide information to hospitals and doctors’ offices, proper training for the group leaders, and establish a memorial garden that parents and families can visit.

$1,000 to the New Gloucester Development Corp. in Gray, which promotes economic development for the two towns. The donation will support corporate infrastructure, including the executive board’s expansion and recruitment.

$1,000 to the Oratorio Chorale in Brunswick. The donation will support future performances.

Staff Writer Ellie Cole can be contacted at 791-6359 or at:

[email protected]