Contact: Deanna Roux
Marketing & Communications Officer
Team Jessica, Inc.
Belchertown, MA 01007
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS AWARDS TEAM JESSICA, INC. $25,000
BELCHERTOWN, Mass., July 12, 2014 – Team Jessica, Inc. is excited to announce it has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Credit Data Services, Inc. Fund and the Edwin P. and Wilbur O. Lepper Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Team Jessica will use these funds to support the building of Jessica’s Boundless Playground (JBP), an effort that has been ongoing for the past four years.
JBP will be the only 100% all-inclusive playground in the area. It is designed to be a multi-generational activity structure that engages people of all ages and abilities. JBP will also allow wounded veterans in long-term rehab to experience the healing power and simple joy of playing with their own children.
The playground equipment and poured in place rubber surfacing will cost approximately $405,000. Team Jessica has hosted several fundraising events over the past four years and the effort has raised more than $300,000, including three Community Preservation Act grants from the Town of Belchertown totaling $140,000 and a $40,000 grant from the Beveridge Family Foundation. This $25,000 Community Foundation grant will bring the fundraising total to $325,000.
“We’re in the last phase of fundraising, working very hard every day,” said Team Jessica President, and mother of the playground’s namesake, Vicky Martins Auffrey. “We plan to order the equipment on August 1 and start the community build September 13. Being awarded this grant is such an honor and makes all our plans closer to reality.”
“These final weeks before ordering the playground equipment are crucial in regards to fundraising,” added Patti Thornton, Team Jessica’s grant writer. “We are waiting to hear back from a few key players, so getting the letter from the Community Foundation yesterday was something we needed. It is helping us keep the momentum into the home stretch.”
About the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts: Founded in 1991, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts administers a charitable endowment consisting of approximately 528 separately identified funds ($110 million) serving the three counties bordering the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties).