Watch this video to find out. (Thanks Claire!)
Watch this video to find out. (Thanks Claire!)
Our October grant is awarded to Julie Veilleux who is kickstarting Little Elves for Little Angels in Hebron CT, an organization that helps children and families with basic needs – as well as “special” needs, that are such an important part of our human experience Julie and crew pair up excited “secret” helpers in their community, with “little angels” whose parents cannot afford birthday and Christmas gifts, back to school clothes and supplies. They also give their most needy families care packages- which are household and personal care items designed to last the family at least 2 months. To date, they have helped over 400 families.
Our July grant was awarded to Central Connecticut State University students from Michele Dischino’s Introduction to Engineering course. The students refurbish wheelchairs that are being donated to individuals who have no means of obtaining them. They use their problem-solving skills to repair wheelchairs. “Each wheelchair is different,” said Dischino. “The students have to figure out what is needed to be done to make each chair functional. Some have missing parts, and all of them need cleaning and general refurbishment. It is a problem-solving project in a socially meaningful and hands-on way. Each chair has two lives – the person it served and the one it goes to help.”
Our May 2013 grant was given to Brian Valentine who runs a summer program for kids in Stamford. He organizes a STEM project that results in a video project; an enriching experience for students and volunteers on the West Side of Stamford. This past summer, the Yerwood Center Junior Leaders shot their video on location at Stamford’s Cummings Beach. These middle schoolers are the crew of an exciting documentary revisiting how adults in Stamford spent childhood summers at the same age as these Junior Leaders. And they hit the jackpot with the participation of all the Stamford mayoral candidates – David Martin, Michael Fedele, Jerry Pia, William Tong, and William Callion. Approximately twenty local residents were interviewed with Long Island Sound as a calming backdrop. The film premiered to the public on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at the Avon Theatre
Mark your calendars and head to West Haven on the weekend of July 13-14 to watch the entire community create the world’s largest street drawing. Spoiler: it’s going to be larger than 100,000 square feet!
“Chalkville”, our January grant recipient, is lead by West Haven resident Elinor Slomba. Ellinor hopes the event will inspire civic pride in the West Haven community while breaking the Guinness World Record for Largest Chalk Pavement Art. Registration for participation in Chalkville closes June 30th. More information can be found on its website: www.chalkville.org and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Chalkville.
The May 2013 Awesome Foundation CT grant was awarded to Cece and Glen Berger for their “Help Us Grow” Cornerstone Home and Gardens project. Their mission is to provide a unique opportunity for young adults with autism to develop their full potential through day programs at the gardens. Year round they will work alongside professionals in the areas of horticulture, building and grounds maintenance, and landscape design. Cornerstone will provide a professional work environment that is challenging, rewarding, creative, and safe and will offer a variety of on-site job opportunities and training for young adults with varying abilities.
More information about the Cornerstone Gardens and opportunities to donate or become involved with their projects can be found on their website: www.cornerstonegardens.org
Staples High School junior Ben Shey recently won the $1000 Westport Mini-Maker Faire Awesome Challenge for his scuba-diver propulsion vehicle. Ben and his project were chosen by five judges at the recent event: Steve Goldstein and Myron Goldstein of Awesome Foundation CT, former editor-in-chief of PC Magazine Michael Miller, inventor Ben Gorbaty, and Staples High School student Matt Walden.
Ben was chosen from among many inventive and creative applicants at the Faire. According to the Norwalk Hour, “Shey, who constructed the machine over a six-month period, said he is an avid scuba diver, and he wanted to construct a machine that so that scuba divers use less oxygen and do not have to exert as much physical force.”
Offering the Awesome Challenge award is a slight departure from the foundation’s monthly no-strings-attached grants for awesome projects. We commends Ben on his initiative, creativity and hard work, and hope the $1000 award helps him fund more projects in the future.
This week, the Awesome Foundation CT continued its plans to award a $1000 challenge prize at the upcoming Westport Mini-Maker Faire on April 27th. The $1000 prize will be awarded to the exhibitor whose work or project most exemplifies the Maker Faire principles of innovation, experimentation, craftsmanship and just plain awesomeness. Their work can be in any field and any stage of development.
Andrew Bangser, from Awesome Foundation CT explains, “If your work makes the judges smile when they see what you do, how you do it, or the benefit it has for other people in the community, then you are on your way to awesomeness.”
The $1000 Westport Mini-Maker Faire Challenge is a slight departure from the usual activity of the Awesome Foundation whose monthly $1000 no-strings-attached grants have funded a broad spectrum of activities including a city-wide scavenger hunt in New Haven, an outdoor mural in Bridgeport, a CD of lullabies for premature babies in Danbury, robotic kits for students in Stamford and more.
According to Bangser, “by offering this prize, our goal is to raise awareness in the community of hobbyists, enthusiasts, students and other creators of new things. And we hope the prize will encourage their ongoing experimentation and development.”
To be eligible for the Mini-Maker Faire Challenge, Faire exhibitors should visit awesomect.org/makerfaire for more information and an application form. Finalists will be notified mid-day during the Faire and will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation to the judges and public. The final decision and awarding of the $1000 prize will follow the presentations.
For more information about Awesome Foundation CT, the Maker-Faire Challenge, or applying for a $1000 grant, check out more of our website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Awesome Foundation CT will award $1000 to the exhibitor at the Westport Mini-Maker Faire on April 27th whose work or project most exemplifies the Maker Faire principles of innovation, experimentation, craftsmanship and just plain awesomeness! Their work can be in any field and any stage of development. By offering this prize, our goal is to raise awareness in the community of hobbyists, enthusiasts, students and other creators of new things. And we hope the prize will encourage their ongoing experimentation and development.
For more information and an application form, click on Maker Faire Challenge.
In March 2012, our grant went to Jim Forde for a Lego robotics program in Stamford elementary schools. He used our funding to purchase three Lego robotics kits, and the program launched this school year. The club produced a variety of Lego creations with moving parts, including spinning tops, controllable airplane propellers, and robotic legs.
Check out these photos of the kids working on and posing with their creations!
We think Jim’s project has turned out awesomely so far, and wish him good luck through the rest of the year.
Did you see us on the Better Connecticut show on WFSB (1/29)? Andy told the Awesome story and our newest grantee, Elinor Slomba, described the upcoming Chalkville project. We’ll have a link to Better Connecticut up shortly.
If you’ve just heard about the Awesome Foundation and want to learn more, watch the video (above) and check out the national site for AF.
Note that we do not take donations! AwesomeCT is entirely funded by its trustees, a small group of people who have pooled their resources to fund projects by Awesome people in the state.
What would you do with $1000? Tell us by applying for next month’s $1000 no-strings-attached grant.
Update: Here’s the link to our segment on Better Connecticut from earlier today!