Williamsburg Community Foundation Awards Grants to ECMS and Respite Care Center

Janet Dugas, RN, RCC Manager (left) and Carolyn Yowell, RCC Executive Director proudly accept $2100 grant from WCF at the Award Luncheon held October 5 at the Williamsburg Lodge.

The Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) recently honored both Early Childhood Music School (ECMS) and The Respite Care Center (RCC) with grant funding for special projects. “We are grateful for this support which will further our reach into the Williamsburg community,” shares Carolyn Yowell, RCC Executive Director and Cindy Freeman, ECMS Executive Director.

Founded in 2001, the Respite Care Center provides a stimulating social environment for adults with special needs while their loved ones have some time off. The agency helps families who care for a family member who suffers from some degree of dementia. The Center currently serves twenty-three families, half women and half men, ages 28-100. The center typically has ten participants each day who enjoy lunch, a craft or activity, a musical exercise and refreshment. There are twenty volunteers who collectively serve over 200 hours each week.

Cindy Freeman, ECMS Director & Project Outreach Executive Director gratefully accepts $5000 grant from WCF.

The grant recently awarded to the Respite Care Center from WCF will benefit the participants by allowing the Alzheimer’s Association to continue support group meetings for caregivers throughout 2012 for no cost. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month while the loved one receives services. Joan Marshall, facilitator of the group, offered her thoughts about the support groups saying, “It is important that we ask ourselves how we can best assist the caregiver, because you are only as good to the other person as you are to yourself.”

The grant received by the ECMS will benefit Project Outreach, its program of music-based learning that serves Head Start, Bright Beginnings and CDR’s First Steps pre-schoolers. This funding will allow expansion of services to additional classrooms for a total of 275 children who have been identified as “at-risk” of academic failure. Executive Director Cindy Freeman says, “This funding is such a blessing! Not only can we reach more children, but we’ll be able to provide weekly classes at some schools where every-other-week sessions were all that we could support.”