Campus News

Bowdoin Students Reach Out for the Common Good

Story posted April 26, 2007

The 2007 Common Good Grant Program has awarded a total of $15,700 to nine organizations in Bath, Brunswick, Freeport and Harpswell. A grant base of $10,000 was supplemented by funds raised by Common Good Grant Committee members and by proceeds from the IronBear Triathlon.

Jay Tansey '07 and Kerry Persen '09 present an award to Donna Frisoli of Harpswell Community Broadcasting.

The Common Good Grant Program was established in 2001 by an anonymous alumnus who instituted an annual gift of $10,000 for a 12-member group of Bowdoin students to allocate to local non-profits in the form of grants. The program is intended to provide students the opportunity to learn about grants, foundations and philanthropy while becoming familiar with the work and challenges of nonprofit organizations.

The Common Good Grant Program helps strengthen the bonds between the College and the community, while allowing students to make a difference by participating in the philanthropic process from beginning to end.

"For most of us, this is just the beginning."

The Common Good Grant Committee, comprising 12 students and two student co-leaders, develops the parameters of the grant, solicits proposals, evaluates submitted projects and determines the final allocation of funds.

"The program has surpassed all of my expectations," says Shelby Davies '10, who was on the Committee. "It was a fabulous way as a first-year student to familiarize myself with the greater Brunswick community. The program also taught me very valuable information about both philanthropy and fundraising."

This year, the Committee considered 37 proposals. The Common Good Grant Committee awarded grants to nine finalists at a ceremony held April 20, 2007, at Moulton Union.

"It occurred to me that as different as we all are, we can do nothing but take what we have learned and apply it to our lives in a thousand different ways," says Rebecca Van Horn '09. "For most of us, this is only the beginning."

The 2006-2007 Common Good Grant recipients are:

  • Brunswick-Trinidad Sister Association (Brunswick)

    In an effort to bring together the diverse communities of Brunswick, Maine, and Trinidad, Cuba, painting supplies will be purchased for a community mural.

  • Harpswell Community Broadcasting (Harpswell)
    Programming called "Don't Just Watch TV! Make TV!" will be developed with the purchase of an editing computer to help produce local elementary school video projects.

  • Hospice Volunteers: Center for Grief and Loss in Mid Coast Maine (Brunswick)
    To meet the increasing need for family services and grief programs, a Hospice Volunteer Training Program will be offered to help increase the volunteer base.

  • Oratorio Chorale (Brunswick)
    Bowdoin Professor Vin Shende's Three Longfellow Poems for Chorus and Orchestra will be prepared and performed with the Portland Symphony Orchestra at Merrill Auditorium in April 2008.

  • Tedford Housing (Brunswick)
    Funds will help lay the administrative groundwork for the Family Mentoring Program which will help homeless families and those who are near homelessness find or maintain stable housing.

  • Tri-County Literacy Volunteers (Bath)
    Hardcover copies of Looking For A Moose by Phyllis Root will be purchased for a new Read With Me Family Literacy Program session, introducing families to the pleasure and value of reading together.

  • Volunteers of America Northern New England (Brunswick)
    This grant award will provide funding to support an ArtVan pilot program of movement and visual art activities for children ages 3-5 at Family Focus, a child care center in Bath.

  • Wolfe's Neck Farm Foundation (Freeport)
    Scholarships will be provided to low-income youth from the Greater Brunswick area to attend Wolfe's Neck Farm Summer Day Camp.

  • Women, Work, and Community (Bath)
    In support of WWC's mission to help adults in transition succeed in their workplaces, businesses and communities, these funds will be used for "Creating Your Future," a training and advising program in midcoast Maine.

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