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News Jul 10, 2014 - 5:53:39 AM

STAR Awarded Grant for 14 Vans from State of CT Nonprofit Grant Program

By STAR, Inc.

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Left to right: Evan Perkins, President of Honda, with CT State Senator Bob Duff, STAR Executive Director Katie Banzhaf and Director of Philanthropy Peter Saverine and State Representatiave Chris Perone (contributed photo)
Norwalk, CT - STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a Nonprofit Grant Award from the State of Connecticut in the amount of $342,600 for the purchase of 14 vehicles that will be used to transport individuals with developmental disabilities to their jobs, homes, medical appointments and activities throughout Fairfield County.

The generous donation was made to benefit STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way which serves nearly 700 individuals from birth through senior years in Norwalk, Weston, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, and Westport. STAR provides Birth to 3 early intervention therapies and services, advocacy and at-home supports, recreational activities, employment training and placement, day programs, senior programs and respite care to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Mid-Fairfield County.

Senator Bob Duff said, “ This will mean so much to people who are served by STAR and I’m proud of the fact that the state is able to help out one of our county’s best non profits.”
State Representative Chris Perone agreed: “I think this is a huge benefit for STAR. It represents a financial burden that STAR won’t need to carry so they can focus directly on serving their clients and the community.”

STAR clients pose in front of the vans with STAR staff members and Evan Perkins, President of Honda, with CT State Senator Bob Duff, STAR Executive Director Katie Banzhaf and Director of Philanthropy Peter Saverine and State Representatiave Chris Perone (contributed photo)
Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR also commented, “We are extremely pleased with this much-needed grant which provides us with the ability to meet the needs of our people better than ever before in terms of safety, reliability and efficiency, and also to ensure that adults with developmental disabilities remain safe, active and fully engaged members of our community. Transportation is a critical element to providing rich opportunities for people with disabilities in our towns.”

Twelve of the vans were recently obtained by STAR from Honda of Westport. Evan Perkins, President of Honda of Westport said, “We are very proud to be involved with this wonderful local organization.”

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced this spring that 146 projects were selected to receive a total of $20 million in awards as part of the state’s Nonprofit Grant Program. “Partnering with these organizations is a smart fiscal investment to ensure that these agencies can continue to provide services while doing so in an efficient, cost-effective way,” said Governor Malloy. “This is the largest commitment our state has made to support and invest in these community-based organizations that provide critical services to individuals in every city and town in our state.” Under Section 13 of Public Act 13-239, adopted last June, the purpose of the NGP is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, safety and/or accessibility of health and human services being delivered by nonprofit organizations. The program was designed to invest in nonprofit providers that have contracts or agreements with state agencies.

Terry Edelstein, the Governor’s Nonprofit Liaison, stated, “The many organizations that submitted proposals demonstrated loud and clear that nonprofit organizations continue to face challenges in providing services and supports for individuals with disabilities and those with significant challenges. And yet their project proposals reflected the creativity, ingenuity and strategic approaches necessary to continue to fulfill their missions. I herald our administration for initiating the bond program, the legislature for supporting the program and the nonprofit community-based providers for articulating their needs so well.”
Grants were awarded to 81 nonprofit agencies in 38 cities and towns.

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. They create opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy. They inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals. For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way please visit their website .

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