Three Stoneham Organizations Receive $100,000 from Cummings Foundation
Cummings Foundation, Inc. recently announced a significant expansion of its support for Woburn nonprofit organizations. Three Stoneham organizations received grants of $100,000 each from OneWorld Boston, Inc., the new grant-making affiliate of Cummings Foundation.
The Woburn-based foundation received 203 proposals during its first grant cycle, from Jan. 2 to April 15. It will award approximately 70 new grants totaling about $7 million this year, almost all within Essex, eastern Middlesex and Suffolk counties. The awards will be paid over two to five years.
Representatives from the diverse Stoneham organizations recently gathered in Woburn for a check presentation. Hallmark Health System, Zoo New England and Akshaya Patra Foundation, USA met with Cummings Properties president and CEO Dennis Clarke to receive their award letters and grant checks. Also participating in the presentations was State Rep. Jason Lewis.
Cummings Foundation is a principal beneficiary of the earnings from Woburn-based commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties. The company, established in 1969, manages more than 10 million square feet of prime office, lab, and medical space, including three locations in Stoneham. Beacon Grille, the upscale eatery at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, is also part of the Cummings organization.
“We feel strongly that the Foundation should be committed to the areas in which Cummings Properties operates and most of our employees live. These organizations do great work and we are pleased to support their efforts,” said Cummings Properties president and CEO Dennis Clarke.
Hallmark Health System will use its award to fund equipment for its new, state-of-the-art Comprehensive Breast Center, located on Montvale Avenue. Zoo New England’s grant will help expand programs that encourage intercultural understanding at both Stone Zoo in Stoneham and Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.
John Linehan , Zoo New England president and CEO, said, “Our goal for diversity and inclusion seemed like a perfect fit for OneWorld Boston’s focus. We are very excited about this grant.”
The grant award for Akshaya Patra Foundation, whose U.S. office is based in Stoneham, will assist with the purchase of an environmentally friendly steam boiler for preparing lunches for underprivileged students in India. Cummings Foundation grants that have an international reach, like the contribution to Akshaya Patra, come from Institute for World Justice, LLC, a separate division of the Foundation.
While the majority of the Foundation’s awards will assist organizations in Essex, eastern Middlesex and Suffolk counties, its healthcare grants are quite diverse. It has pledged $250,000 to establish a national cancer infusion center in the city of Butaro, in northern Rwanda. An additional $100,000 has been committed to Rwinkwavu Hospital, also in Rwanda, for an agricultural training program to combat chronic malnutrition, one of the country’s most vexing development challenges.
The operations of these two rural hospitals, both part of Boston-based Partners In Health, are overseen by Dr. Peter Drobac, who has appointments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In an email of appreciation for the grants, Drobac wrote, “Cancer care and integrated food security are two of Partners In Health’s most important new initiatives, and we expect both to have significant impact throughout this remarkable country.”
Joyce and Bill Cummings personally visited Rwinkwavu Hospital in January. They also toured the site selected for the new National Cancer Center, about 50 miles north of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. The Winchester, Mass. couple established Cummings Foundation in 1986, donating to it more than 90 percent of the wealth they made through Cummings Properties.
Other Rwandan grants include $100,000 each to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, in support of its professional training programs for youths orphaned during the country’s 1994 genocide, and the National Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali. The Foundation’s Institute for World Justice also reportedly awarded more than $100,000 this year to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
OneWorld Boston’s next grant cycle is expected to open in fall 2012, with updated information to be posted on the Cummings Properties website this summer. Letters of inquiry will be accepted, and select organizations will then be invited to submit in-depth proposals for approximately $15 million in awards, strictly within the tri-county area of northeast Massachusetts.