Morgan Stickney, left, of Sweetser in Saco accepts a $5,000 grant for the organization from Jon Paradise (r), SVP at Town & Country FCU, as part of Town & Country’s ‘Better Neighbor Fund’ initiative, which awarded grants totaling $25,000 to non-profits in Cumberland and York Counties as determined by the general public. The grants were awarded at a special reception held at the credit union’s Forest Avenue Branch in Portland. Courtesy photo/Whitney J. Fox Photogra

Just two weeks after the tragic events in Lewiston, Town & Country Federal Credit Union held its annual ‘Better Neighbor Fund’ Reception which brought nonprofits together to highlight the importance of supporting neighbors and community. At the special reception, which was held at the credit union’s Forest Avenue Branch in Portland, it announced the eight nonprofits from Cumberland and York Counties that received the most votes through a public vote during October. Grants totaling $25,000 were awarded, with amounts ranging from $2,000-$5,000 to those nonprofits. The credit union also announced and distributed additional contributions of $100 each to the 17 other nonprofits that did not finish in the top 8 in votes.

The Town & Country ‘Better Neighbor Fund’ event is unique in that it brings all 25 nominees together to interact with each other and celebrate the nonprofit community. “This is much more than presenting checks, it’s about learning about the work of all of our nominees and celebrating the work that they do to make our ‘neighborhoods’ strong and vibrant. They truly make our neighborhoods better and we are pleased to honor them. In light of the tragic events in Lewiston recently, along with the many other challenges happening in the world today, we all need a reminder about the role we, as individuals and as a collective community, have in supporting not just where we live but the people who live there, too. Together, we can and do make our neighborhoods better and stronger,” remarked Jon Paradise, SVP at Town & Country, in explaining the focus of the reception and the spirit of the awards.

Pam Beckey, chapter coordinator for Project Linus of Cumberland and York County, echoed other recipients as she emphasized the impact that the grant her organization received will have on the community. “I am so grateful for the grant to Project Linus and our other volunteers are also. This grant will enable us to continue to increase our reach to kids experiencing trauma in southern Maine.”

The eight nonprofits receiving grants and where they are headquartered are as follows:

$5,000 grant recipients –

Project Linus of Cumberland & York County in Cape Elizabeth
Sweetser in Saco
Friendship House in South Portland

$2,000 grant recipients –

Midcoast Humane Society Public Assistance Fund in Brunswick
HART Animal Rescue Team in Cumberland
Special Surfers in Kennebunk
Maine Needs in Portland
Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter in Scarborough
All of the nonprofits were grateful for the opportunity and the award recipients were appreciative of the “commitment from Town & Country to the community.” A representative from Sweetser in Saco, one of the recipients, said, “This will make a significant difference in what we can do in our community. We can’t wait to share this to better serve our clients.”

With these grants, Town & Country has now awarded $350,000 in Better Neighbor Fund grants supporting nearly 130 different community programs since it launched this groundbreaking initiative in 2010.

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