Westbrook Foundation Awarded $300,000-Plus to Community in Grants and Scholarships in 2020

Press release

The Westbrook Foundation is pleased to announce that it awarded approximately $205,000 in grants to community organizations and $107,000 in scholarships to town residents in 2020. Board members look forward to continuing to provide the same high level of needed support to the community in 2021, through both the Foundation’s two grants cycles and through its robust and growing roster of scholarships.

“It’s a privilege to help fulfill the vision Barbara Spencer had when she established the Westbrook Foundation with her bequest in 1984,” said Westbrook Foundation Chair Paul Winch. “A career educator and proud resident of the town, Barbara was passionate about contributing to community organizations and programs that enhance the wellbeing of Westbrook’s residents and about helping Westbrook’s young people as they embark on the next step in their educational journeys. I’m certain that she’d be thrilled by how the Foundation has grown over the last 30 years and by the scale of financial support it’s now able to provide.”

An-Ming Truxes, chair of the Foundation’s Grants Committee, said she feels grateful to be able to make a positive impact during this unprecedented time.

“As we enter 2021, many of our local non-profits continue to feel the economic strain caused by the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Truxes. “The Foundation is humbled to be in a position, through our spring and fall grant cycles, to help the organizations that help Westbrook residents in so many critical ways.”

David Russell, chair of the Foundation Scholarship Committee for 2020, said he is likewise energized by the Foundation’s efforts.

“The members of the Scholarship Committee and I are so proud to be able to help Westbrook’s families manage the burden of ever-increasing tuition costs through our many scholarships—including two new ones that will be available to high school seniors this spring.”


In 2020, the Westbrook Foundation awarded 21 grants across its spring and fall cycles, to organizations including the Bridle Path Conservancy; Camp Hazen YMCA; Estuary Council of Seniors; the Friends of the Westbrook Public Library; High Hopes Therapeutic Riding; Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore; Middlesex Habitat for Humanity; the Rotary Club of Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Westbrook; SARAH, Inc.; Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries; Traveling Toys, Inc.; the Valley Shore YMCA; Westbrook Athletic Boosters; the Westbrook Garden Club; the Westbrook Historical Society; the Town of Westbrook Conservation Commission; the Town of Westbrook Planning, Zoning, & Development Department; Westbrook Visiting Nurses & Public Health; and Westbrook Youth & Family Services.

The most recent grant recipients from fall 2020 and their projects include:

  • Camp Hazen YMCA: $6,000 to support the renovation of the existing high ropes challenge course and zip line
  • Friends of the Westbrook Public Library: $16,000 to support technology upgrades
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding: $2,500 to provide scholarship assistance to economically disadvantaged Westbrook children and adults with special needs for equine-assisted activities and therapies
  • Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore: $1,500 to purchase tutor supplies and workbooks to train 35 volunteer tutors
  • Middlesex Habitat for Humanity: $50,000 to cover the cost of building materials for the Westbrook Habitat house at 382 North Hammock Road
  • Rotary Club of Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Westbrook: $1,680 to provide full Thanksgiving meals to more than 50 elderly and disabled Westbrook residents
  • SARAH, Inc.: $2,500 to support nutritional education for adults with intellectual and/or development disabilities
  • Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries: $5,000 to provide food to Westbrook residents in need through SSKP’s five food pantries
  • Westbrook Garden Club: $7,570 to support the final development phase of the Westbrook Garden Club’s 60th anniversary project to create a pollinator refuge at the entrance to Salt Island Overlook
  • Westbrook Historical Society: $9,950 to contract with two firms to map and survey what lies beneath the Old Burying Ground for future historians and the general public
  • Westbrook Visiting Nurses & Public Health: $1,436.62 to support the purchase of 252 booklets for home resources and materials

The next deadline for grant applications is April 1, 2021. Visit www.westbrookfoundation.org/grants to download instructions and application materials. For more information, email grants@westbrookfoundation.org.


A scholarship program that began with one award in the mid-1980s has grown to include more than two dozen available scholarships, many of which have multiple recipients. In 2020, the Westbrook Foundation made 57 scholarship awards.

Any Westbrook resident who plans to attend or currently attends a trade program or a two- or four-year college or university is eligible to apply for Westbrook Foundation scholarships. They recognize a wide array of accomplishments, from academic achievement to community service, and support students wishing to pursue a range of career paths, from teaching to healthcare to conservation and beyond. In addition, there is a scholarship that is earmarked specifically for children of single parents.

New in 2021, the Westbrook Foundation offers the $500 Lew Daniels Scholarship and the $1,500 Krysta Brielle Morant Memorial Scholarship. Established in honor of the Westbrook Public Library’s recently retired longtime director, the Daniels Scholarship is available to applicants who plan to study and pursue a career in education or library science. The Morant Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of the late Westbrook High School graduate by her brother, is available to applicants who plan to study and pursue a career in the life sciences.The deadline for 2021 Westbrook Foundation scholarships is April 1. Visit www.westbrookfoundation.org/scholarships in early February to download the booklet and application materials. For more information, email scholarships@westbrookfoundation.org