July 9, 2019
ECCF Awards $224,000 in Nonprofit Grants | Press Release

Thousands of youth across Greater Lawrence face opportunity and achievement gaps that impede their success.

The Dee & King Webster Fund for Greater Lawrence, an ECCF fund created in honor of Dee Webster and R. Kingman “King” Webster, a Lawrence businessman and philanthropist who passed away in November 2015, has just completed its first round of funding to help change that.

The following nonprofit organizations have received two-year grants – totaling $200,000 – in support of educational and out-of-school-time opportunities for infants and youth ages 0-14 in Lawrence, Methuen and Andover.

  • Esperanza Academy,for its Extended Day Program
  • Lawrence CommunityWorks,for its Movement City Youth Network
  • Groundwork Lawrence,for its K-8 Youth Enrichment Program
  • Youth Development Organization, Inc., for General Operating Support
  • The Professional Center for Handicapped Children d/b/a The Professional Center for Child Development, for the expansion of preschool-aged programs
  • Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund, Inc., for the Lawrence Family Development Charter School Opening Doors program
  • Essex Art Center, for its Youth Art Programs

“Providing the youth of Greater Lawrence with opportunities that help them reach their full potential is something the Webster family continues to care about deeply,” said ECCF’s Vice President for Grants and Services Carol Lavoie Schuster. “ECCF is so proud to provide access to the resources that exemplify their vision and belief in the power of access, opportunity and education for all youth, especially those living in poverty.”

“These grant recipients are making huge impacts in the community and ECCF is honored to support their incredible work,” she added.


ECCF is also pleased to announce an additional $24,000 in funding from the Foundation’s Fund for Excellence in Essex County, designed to support specific projects that strengthen the capacity of a nonprofit organization to perform its work more effectively. This year, ECCF placed a special focus on supporting organizations in building more equitable, diverse and inclusive cultures, environments, programs or services.

The following nonprofit organizations received a 2019 FEEC grant:

  • Backyard Growers, to improve inclusivity of the organization’s community programs
  • Centerboard, to promote inclusion in human service work
  • LEAP for Education, Inc., to promote diversity and inclusion practices through training with leadership and staff
  • Merrimack River Watershed Council, to increase diversity through board expansion and strategic planning
  • Salem Pantry, to support the organization’s leadership development and strategic plan

“Through this ECCF grant program, we have seen how even modest investments in infrastructure can have a significant impact on an organization’s effectiveness and core, mission-driven work,” said Lavoie Schuster. “ECCF is proud to support this group of remarkable nonprofit organizations working hard every day to improve our communities.”

For more information on ECCF’s competitive grant programs, visit eccf.org/grants.

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