Encore Community Fund Ready to Begin Accepting Applications

The Everett Citizens Foundation has had two formation meetings and is ready to begin making applications available to Everett associations and organizations looking for funding for community-based programs.

The Foundation is a created out of the Wynn/Everett Host Community Agreement, and receives $250,000 per year – with a 2.5 percent annual increase. The first deposit is to be made within 30 days of the June 23 opening, and so it is that the Foundation has started meeting to define a process and requirements for the money.

“At the last meeting they discussed some of the logistics and would like to have two funding rounds per year,” said Catherine Denisi of the Mayor’s Office. “The first grants will be delivered on Sept. 15, 2019. They agreed they want to deliver a second round on March 16, 2020. They do want to limit people to only getting one grant per year.”

All of the awards would be capped at $10,000.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria said the Foundation is one example of the side benefits available to residents because of the Encore project.

“One of the great benefits of brining the Encore Resort to Everett is to provide additional resources to many of our non-profit and volunteer organizations throughout the city,” he said. “These groups do enormous good in our community and I’m honored to be able to work with a great foundation board to help to provide resources that are desperately needed.”

The Foundation is made up of seven members, all appointed by various appointing authorities. Mayor Carlo DeMaria appoints four members, State Rep. Joe McGonagle appoints one member, State Sen. Sal DiDomenico appoints one member and the City Council appoints one member.

The initial term of the members appointed by the Mayor shall be two years. In order to have staggered terms, the other three members’ initial term shall be one year and thereafter their term shall be two years. Members may serve for up to six consecutive years.

Those on the Foundation now include:

•Raquel Duverge

•Georgia Wright-Easy

•Aicha Bendagna

•Viola Torra

•Cynthia Sarnie

•Thomas Fiorentino

•Holly Garcia

While the Foundation has been in the works for many months, the appointees have just taken their places and begun to work out the details – such as getting it to be a non-profit Foundation.

Some of the early discussions have been about whether to make the meetings public so that the minutes and agendas are subject to the public records law. To adhere to transparency in the process, the Foundation members have decided to declare themselves a public body.

Another much bigger discussion is about who can apply for the funding.

The HCA isn’t that specific, only saying that an Everett group, association or organization that deals with important citywide issues can apply.

Right now, the Foundation is looking to define who that might be – whether it should only be non-profits and whether or not houses of worship would be allowed to access the money.

“Right now they’re working on an application and guidelines for applicants,” said Denisi. “That information will be forthcoming. I think the Board understands what a fantastic opportunity this is for the community. They are very excited to try to help a wide variety of organizations.”

She said applications will become available in the coming weeks as the Foundation members want to get to work on the first funding round very quickly.

“They really want to get to work as quickly as they can to allow organizations and entities to see if they might want to apply,” she said.

All of the meetings of the Everett Citizens Foundation are open to the public and are posted on the City’s website.

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