press releases

24 February 2009

Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust, Inc.

c/o Lauren Dewey Platt

41 Park Drive Boston, MA 02215

Mission Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Trust Will Fund Proposals for 2009

The Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust (MHFNT) announced that it will fund proposals for 2009 for projects and programs that benefit residents of Mission Hill and Fenway. Although the Trust has decreased in value as a result of the ongoing downturn in the stock market, board members agree that now is not the time to withhold funds from community organizations that are struggling with budgets to meet their programmatic and staffing needs.

The unmet needs in these two neighborhoods are staggering enough in a favorable economy. All of the wonderful programs that these organizations undertake and which we have funded in the past will be jeopardized if funds are not forthcoming to keep them afloat, says Lauren Dewey Platt, board president and a resident of the Fenway. The Trust has not determined what the total funding will be in this cycle, however, but is requesting that neighborhood organizations submit their proposals by the end of March for funding to be distributed in June at its Annual Meeting.

The MHFNT was established by an act of the legislature and received an initial grant from Beth Israel Hospital when that institution acquired the former Massachusetts College of Art Building on Brookline Avenue, now known as the Carl J. Shapiro Clinical Center. The Trust began official operations in 1999 with a total of 6 board members—3 from Fenway and 3 from Mission Hill. The board meets regularly in the tower building of the Massachusetts College of Art on Huntington Avenue, which graciously offers its meeting and event space to the Trust on an as-needed basis. Because the Trust will be dipping into principal and the total distribution in 2009 will be curtailed, we invite and welcome financial support from area educational and health institutions, commercial and residential developers, and the local entertainment and sports facilities to offer expanded funding to needy groups and agencies providing services to residents in their abutting neighborhoods, says Richard Orareo, Fenway board member. Each year the Trust receives requests for funding which are two or three times the amount available for distribution. This year it expects the requests for funding to far exceed those numbers.

The Mission Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Trust in an accredited 501(c)3 organization that can accept tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations. Current board members include Bettye Robinson—an original board member from Mission Hill—Tina Pankievich and Alison Pultinas, both from Mission Hill, and Bonnie Thryselius of the Fenway, who just joined the board in February.

For more information about the Trust and to download a proposal form, refer to the website at www.missionhillfenwaynt.org. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Tuesday, 31 March 2009.