The launch of the Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation

NEWS RELEASE — Vermont Community Foundation
November 27, 2012

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup
Philanthropic Advisor for the Northeast Kingdom
The Vermont Community Foundation
802-388-3355 ext. 295
[email protected]

The Vermont Community Foundation announced inaugural grants totaling over $50,000 from the Northeast Kingdom Fund. The new fund is one of over 625 funds at the Community Foundation and was established to serve as a permanent philanthropic resource serving Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties with annual grantmaking.

Along with today’s grant awards, the Foundation is pleased to announce a challenge grant partnership with the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The Tillotson Fund will match every dollar donated to the Northeast Kingdom Fund in 2013 up to $150,000.

Kirsten Scobie, Director of the Tillotson Funds at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, says: “We are thrilled that the Vermont Community Foundation is focusing so much time and energy in building and sustaining relationships with people in a place that can sometimes seem hard to traverse. We look forward to a continued strong partnership throughout the broader Northern Kingdom region, including Essex County.”

The Northeast Kingdom Fund was founded with generous support from Passumpsic Savings Bank and Community National Bank as well as many individual donors.

The first grants from the Northeast Kingdom Fund total $50,337 and were awarded across the three counties. Honoring the region’s agricultural renaissance, $28,600 in grants was awarded to organizations working on food systems or food security programs. Other grants were made in the arts, education, land conservation, and social services.

2012 Grants from the Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation

Catamount Arts was awarded $540 to support the creation of an historical archive for the organization.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy was awarded $4,850 for the restoration and transformation of Atkins Field at Copper Brook as space for public agricultural events.

Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District was awarded $3,000 to support the Northeast Kingdom Conservation Nursery and their efforts to replace invasive species with native trees.

Everybody Wins! Vermont was awarded $2,000 to support the Power Lunch literacy program in Barton and St. Johnsbury.

Four Seasons of Early Learning was awarded $3,750 to support a new program for kids and families called “It’s Dinnertime! Empowering Families to Cook Healthful Meals.”

Friends of the Cobleigh Library was awarded $1,000 to support their new bookmobile.

Gilman Housing Trust was awarded $4,000 to support a new program providing language tools to migrant farmworkers and their employers.

Grass Root Art & Community Effort (GRACE) was awarded $1,500 for the touring exhibition of “Cultivating GRACE, Creative Voices of the Northeast Kingdom.”

Green Mountain Farm-to-School was awarded $4,000 to support “The Lunchbox: Increasing Food Access in the NEK.”

Greensboro Wonder and Wisdom was awarded $1,000 to support the Historic Heroes Project in their after-school program.

Highfields Center for Composting was awarded $4,000 to support the development of their Compost Research and Education Facility.

Northern Rivers Land Trust was awarded $1,000 to support an intern working on the Hardwick Lake conservation project.

Northwoods Stewardship Center was awarded $3,500 to support the creation and maintenance of the Gardner Path living history trail.

St. Johnsbury Good Living Senior Center was awarded $877 for equipment purchases, including new bridge tables and an LCD projector.

St. Johnsbury Academy was awarded $500 for a pilot program teaching foreign languages to regional elementary school students.

St. Johnsbury Area Local Food Alliance was awarded $2,000 to support their community farm project.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum was awarded $1,000 to support the Acorn Club, a literacy program for young readers.

St. Johnsbury History and Heritage Center was awarded $1,000 to purchase equipment for their archive.

Thaddeus Stevens School was awarded $400 to address issues of racism using a traveling exhibition about Emmett Till.

The Common Place was awarded $500 to support their “Art Across the Ages” program.

Umbrella was awarded $2,920 to support the Northeast Kingdom Bystander Intervention Program to help stop violence.

Upward Bound at Lyndon State College was awarded $1,000 for transportation support for the summer internship/community service students.

The Vermont Foodbank was awarded $5,000 for the BackPack Program in Lunenberg, providing food support for food insecure children and families.

Waterford School was awarded $1,000 for a new program around sustainability and food education.


The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and inspiring. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs and keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital. Together, its funds and programs provide more than $12 million a year in grants and other investments in Vermont. Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.

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