Manchester Museum, Essex Shipbuilding, Summerstage Win Grant Monies


The Cape Ann Community Foundation (CACF) announced its 2024 grant recipients at the first-ever Candlepins for a Cause event at Cape Ann Lanes.

More than 90 bowlers and dozens more supporters came together to celebrate the

non-profit organizations and community programs funded by the Foundation.  Since its inception in 2015, the Foundation has awarded more than 50 grants totaling more than $100,000 to Cape Ann non-profit organizations.  The charitable organization was established in 2015 by the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce to manage and award grants from the proceeds from sales of the Cape Ann License Plate.

This year’s grant recipients spanned all of Cape Ann, but it also hit home for residents of Manchester and Essex:

The Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum – the Foundation’s grant will support a program aimed at helping 5th graders transition to a unified middle school, facilitating hands-on exploration of the local maritime culture and environment; Natasha Taylor represented the museum at the event

Gloucester High School Vocational Tech – this grant will support the school’s integrated Workforce Development and Financial Empowerment programs; Career/Vocational Technical Education Coordinator Brenda Waslick represented the Voc Tech at the event

Manchester by the Sea Museum – the Foundation’s grant will support the museum’s new seasonal "Tea by the Sea" venture, which will offer visitors both light refreshments and information on sightseeing and tourist attractions; Matthew Swindell and Sue Thompson represented the museum at the event

Manchester by the Sea Summerstage – this grant will support a program that enables young people to participate in professional-caliber theater productions

Ocean Alliance – the grant will support Ocean Alliance’s focus on marine research, community engagement, blue economy development and environmental sustainability; Allyson Wyle represented Ocean Alliance at the event

Rockport Public Library – the Foundation’s grant will support STEAM programs for elementary and middle school students, art and storytimes for preschoolers, community service and art opportunities for teens, and family concerts; Emily Souza represented the library at the event

Rocky Neck Art Colony – this grant will support the production of a video that showcases art colony activities and cultural venues across Cape Ann; CEO Elizabeth Carey and Trustee Susan Alvey represented the art colony at the event

Sargent House Museum – this Foundation grant will support programming that will focus on the history of enslavement on Cape Ann, including a Downtown Gloucester walking tour and a community-wide book club; representing Sargent House Museum at the event was Board President Jeremy Melvin

These eight grant recipients were selected by the Foundation’s board from the more than 40 grant applications received during this April’s proposal submission period.

At the June 6 bowling event, the foundation also honored former CACF Board President Ruth Pino, who led the organization since it was founded in 2015.  In January, Gloucester attorney Britta Cahoon and Blue Shutters Beachside Inn owner Tony Sapienza were named board co-chairs, succeeding Pino.

The Candlepins for a Cause event included 15 teams, representing businesses and organizations across Cape Ann, including BankGloucester, Cape Ann Savings Bank, Cape Ann Motor Inn, The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Board, The Chamber’s Tourism Council, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, The Manchester-Essex Rotary, The North Shore Health Project, Pratty’s, The Works, and other teams organized by Foundation board members.

Based on the success of this year’s event, the Foundation plans to make Candlepins for a Cause an annual celebration centered around the announcement of its grant recipients.

“This Candlepins for a Cause event spotlighted the Foundation’s efforts to enhance Cape Ann’s economic environment and improve the overall quality of life by supporting organizations like this year’s grant recipients,” said Cahoon.

“This was a milestone night not only for the Cape Ann Community Foundation, but for the important programs we support,” said CACF’s Tony Sapienza.  “Most are aware of the Foundation’s management and promotion of the Cape Ann License Plate and our use of plate revenues to fund important community programs. Candlepins for a Cause demonstrated how the Foundation continues this work while finding new ways for Cape Ann to support its charitable efforts.”