Inbox [Sept. 4]: Worcester Diocese hits $5M fundraising goal, ACE gala set for Oct. 13, Community Harvest Project taps new boss, arts councils seek grant applicants

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Diocese Partners appeal reaches $5 million goal for first time

“It has been a challenge for five years to reach a $5 million goal, but this year our fervent prayer was that we would make it,” said Michael Gillespie, director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, reflecting on this year’s annual Partners in Charity Appeal.

Worcester Chancery

Sun Staff / Worcester Sun

The Chancery of the Diocese of Worcester

His office announced that, as of the end of August, it had received 17,857 gifts and pledges totaling $5,022,168. The campaign launched at an event at the Diocesan Chancery on Feb. 11. The official total may take another week to determine, given that some gifts are still in transit.

“Allow me to express my profound gratitude to God for the wonderful response to this year’s Partners in Charity Appeal,” commented Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, bishop of Worcester. “Thanks to the generous support of the people of the Diocese of Worcester, and the leadership of pastors and parish chairpeople, we achieved our $5 million goal for pastoral, educational and charitable ministries.”

Read the entire story on Diocese of Worcester website

ACE 10th anniversary gala Oct. 13

African Community Education (ACE) will hold its 10th anniversary gala on Oct. 13 at Mechanics Hall.

Sep 4-Save the Date_Gala_Drums_AGThe gala, which begins at 6 p.m., is a unique 10th anniversary event that gives individuals and groups the opportunity to have a great time while contributing to the education of African refugee youth in Worcester, making friends, and networking.

Read our Sun Shine feature on ACE’s growth over the years

The event will include a cocktail hour with a silent auction, a dinner of authentic African cuisine, a keynote speech by state Attorney General Maura Healey, a live auction, performances of drumming and dances by ACE students, and more.

Tickets can be purchased in advance through Oct. 12 for $90, or $560 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased through Universe here, or with cash or check mailed to the ACE office at 24 Chatham St., Worcester, MA 01609.

More information is available on the ACE Facebook page or gala website

Community Harvest Project welcomes new executive director

The volunteer board of directors is pleased to announce that Cordelia Lyon has been hired as the executive director of Community Harvest Project (CHP).

Cordelia Lyon

Courtesy Community Harvest Project (Norm Eggert Photography)

Cordelia Lyon is the new executive director of Community Harvest Project.

Lyon brings experience in management, hunger relief, farming, fundraising, education, and communications from a diverse professional background. After most recently working at Land’s Sake, a nonprofit farm in Weston, she is excited to apply her skills specifically toward hunger relief in Worcester County. Her impressive leadership and management skills will be put to use on assessing and continuing the rapid growth over CHP’s past six years, including the expansion to Prospect Hill Farm in Harvard.

“What I love most about CHP is that not only are we working to provide healthy food for all, but we’re doing so by engaging thousands of volunteers each year. That dedication to community, and having neighbors helping neighbors, is truly inspiring. I look forward to working with the CHP team, and working towards our many goals,” she said.

In addition to working at Land’s Sake, Lyon has also worked for Barefoot Books and Harvard University, where she earned her degree. She is active in her home community of Stow, and supports several community organizations there and in its surrounding communities.

Community Harvest Project, a 501(c)3 organization, is dedicated to improving access to healthy foods through community engagement.

Worcester Arts Council accepting grant proposals

The Worcester Arts Council (WAC) announces the opening of the 2017 grant cycle. Each year, WAC provides grants to individuals and organizations for art and cultural programs in Worcester.

Sep 4-Worcester Arts Council

WAC grants are generally smaller grants that fund programs with a strong public benefit and organizations that do not generally have access to larger grant programs. In 2016, WAC funded grants included programs for students during and after school, gallery shows, cultural festivals, public art installations, and programs designed to bring cultural opportunities to senior citizens and people with disabilities. WAC encourages projects that are new, innovative, and targeted to underserved populations in Worcester.

Thanks to the efforts and support of the cultural community, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) received the same level of funding as it did in 2016. As a result, in 2017, WAC will receive an allocation of $103,100 from the MCC for the Local Cultural Council program. With those funds, WAC will once again be offering grants to individuals and organizations for cultural projects in the city of Worcester, as well as two $5,000 fellowships to Worcester-based artists who display excellence in their field and a commitment to the Worcester community.

Program guidelines and deadlines can be found on the city of Worcester website

Shrewsbury Cultural Council seeks grant proposals

The Shrewsbury Cultural Council has set a deadline of Monday, Oct. 17, for organizations, schools and individuals to apply for funds supporting a range of cultural activities, including exhibits, festivals, children’s field trips, workshops, lectures, short-term artist residencies, and performances. Starting this year, the Council asks that applications be submitted online at; click on “Applicants.”

The Shrewsbury Cultural Council receives funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which allots a specific percentage annually to local Cultural Councils through funding generated by state Lottery Commission revenues. The Shrewsbury Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 such councils that serve every city and town in the state.

Shrewsbury Cultural Council members for 2016-17 are: Neena Mohanka, chair; Sandra McManus, secretary; Martha Deering, Karen Dumas, Myran Parker-Brass, Helen Porter and William Sigalis.

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