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  • Foundation for Seacoast Health announces $310,000 in grants and $20,000 in scholarships

    PORTSMOUTH – The Foundation for Seacoast Health recently awarded $310,000 in grants and support to 21 nonprofit organizations, and $20,000 in scholarships to three students pursuing health-related degrees. 


    A reception was held June 26 at the Wentworth Country Club to recognize the 2023-2024 grantees and 2024 scholarship recipients. The Foundation also honored recently retired Trustees Tim Durkin, Darci Knowles and Tom Blais.     


    Grantees include the following organizations:

    • Articine
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH
    • Cornerstone VNA
    • Goodwork                                      
    • Greater Seacoast Community Health
    • Haven                                               
    • Hospice Help Foundation
    • Joan Lovering Health Center        
    • My Breast Cancer Support
    • NAMI NH                            
    • NH Association for the Blind
    • On Belay                                   
    • Pinetree Institute              
    • Seacoast Mental Health Center
    • Seacoast Outright                           
    • Seacoast Village Project
    • Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle
    • Southern NH AHEC                       
    • The Birchtree Center
    • The Foundation for NH Community Colleges
    • York Community Services Association

    Additionally, $20,000 in scholarships went to three deserving students pursuing health related degrees. 

    • Lauren Dube of Greenland, pursuing her master's in physician’s assistant studies at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Studies, received the Edwina Foye Award for $7,500.


    • Natalie Singer of Eliot, Maine, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at Michigan State University, received the Steven Cutter Scholarship Award for $7,500. 


    • One general scholarship was awarded to Wilhelmina Bowser of Rye, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Sacred Heart University, who received $5,000.


    “Huge congratulations to the worthy organizations who received grants from the Foundation. We sincerely appreciate their continuous hard work to improve the health and well-being of all Seacoast residents,” said Foundation CEO Deb Grabowski. “Additionally, I’m so proud of this year’s scholarship winners. It was such a pleasure to meet these talented, passionate young people, who are contributing to the health field in important and meaningful ways. As the next generation of healthcare workers, they’ll be making a positive difference throughout their communities.”

    “We are honored to receive a generous grant of $7,500 from the Foundation for Seacoast Health. This funding will play a crucial role in advancing our mission to enhance the quality of life for hospice patients facing financial hardship, ensuring they can spend their final days with dignity and comfort,” said Marsha Filion, executive director at Hospice Help Foundation, one of the recent grantees. “The grant will have a profound impact on the well-being of hospice patients and their families throughout the Seacoast area and beyond. It will help cover essentials, such as shelter, utilities, and food, directly benefiting those in need during an incredibly challenging time.”

    York Community Service Association, another grant recipient, is using the funds to renovate their food pantry.


    “Thanks to the Foundation for the sizable grants that are really helpful for small to medium-sized non-profits. This grant will allow us to really get things done, and we’re truly grateful for that. The main reason that we’re renovating our food pantry is to make it a more comfortable place for a new population that needs help from the food pantry for the first time in their lives. We’re trying to combat some of the shame and stigma that’s going on so they can come in and get the support they really need,” said Michelle Surdoval, executive director, York Community Service Association. “Our efforts are to make it feel more like a market than what people traditionally think of as a food pantry. One of the pieces of that is to have a little café in the food pantry itself, which we’re naming Joe’s Café, after one of our wonderful volunteers named Joe who recently died.”


    The scholarship recipients were also extremely appreciative, saying the funds will help them continue their health-related education so they can serve their communities now and in the future.


    “The scholarship awarded to me by the Foundation of Seacoast Health is truly life-changing, as I continue my education. Their generosity allows me to focus on my academics, not the cost of my education, so I can strive to become the best physical therapist for my community,” said scholarship winner Natalie Singer. “I am eager to learn more about physical therapy so that I can return to the Seacoast with greater expertise and give back to the community that has supported me throughout my life.” 


    Grabowski spoke of the recent strategic planning process that focused on identifying two strategic grant priorities for the next five years. The goal was to truly have an impact by dedicating a significant portion of the annual grant’s budget in the identified areas of mental/behavioral health and health-related needs of older adults. Foundation Trustees didn’t want to exclude the larger non-profit community that is impacting health and well-being but may not be working in those two spaces. Therefore, the Foundation has retained a more traditional responsive grant process.


    The revised grant guidelines and strategic plan can be accessed on the Foundation’s website www.foundationforseacoasthealth.org.


    The Foundation’s 2024 strategic grant cycle will be announced by July 1, 2024, and the 2024 total grants budget is $850,000.


    The Foundation for Seacoast Health is a nonprofit, private foundation funded through contributions from individuals and the proceeds of the 1983 sale of Portsmouth Hospital to Hospital Corporation of America. Established in 1984, the Foundation has been a catalyst for positive change, promoting a wide range of creative initiatives to improve the health of the community and the well-being of Seacoast residents.  The total investment in our community to date exceeds $75 million dollars in grants and scholarships.


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