Piers Park Sailing Receives Prestigious Cummings Grant

Since losing the lion’s share of funding from Massport back in 2011, Piers Park Sailing Center (PPSC) has been able to stay afloat through donations, fundraising, grants and other endowments. 

All these funds, both big and small, have kept the popular sailing center going year after year but none have been as large as the grant PPSC received last week. 

PPSC sailors and instructors celebrate the news that the popular neighborhood sailing program received a prestigious Cummings Foundation grant.

PPSC Executive Director Alex DeFronzo announced the sailing center received a prestigious $450,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation.  Cummings Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Woburn-based Cummings Properties. The grant program aims to give back in the area where Cummings Properties owns commercial buildings. 

The funding will be distributed to the PPSC in the amount of $45,000 each year for the next decade. 

PPSC was one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants ranging between $100,000 to $500,000 through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.  

During a highly competitive grant application process that included several rounds of applications, presentations and interviews, the PPSC was chosen from a group of 590 applicants during. 

“Cummings Foundation stepped in to help Piers Park recover and renew our programs back in 2018,” said DeFronzo. “Now with this 2021 10-Year Cummings Grant, Piers Park Sailing will be able to work with more kids and at more program sites over the next ten years.  We are so excited about this and so grateful to Cummings Foundation.”

Piers Park Sailing Center provides after school and summer youth programs on and around Boston Harbor.  Since 1998, more than 20,000 young people have learned to sail at Piers Park.

DeFronzo said the funds from this grant will help grow the Sailing After School and annual summer programs.  

“Hundreds of youth from economically disadvantaged families will attend programming for free because of the Cummings grant,” Defronzo said. 

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

“We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community,” said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joel Swets. “It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more.”

The Cummings Foundation has now awarded  more than $300 million to greater Boston nonprofits since its founding. 

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