Organizations Receive Grant Money from save the Harbor

Three local organizations from East Boston will share in $31,500 in grant money from  Save the Harbor / Save the Bay for summer and early fall activities on the beach.

The East Boston YMCA will receive $3,500 for its Summer Food Service Program and annual Campfire at Constitution Beach.

The grant will enable The Y to again hold “Beach Kick-off Day” on Constitution Beach to raise awareness about their summer food service program. The event will feature face painting, sand castle contests, sports, games, arts and crafts, music, and an opportunity for community members to meet with organizations that will be offering programs on Constitution Beach during the summer.

The grant award will also support the Y late season movie night, campfire night, and beach activities for local youth in late August. The Y will also use the events to highlight the Lazarus Youth Center near the beach, which will give children the opportunity to continue their activities indoors and also provide the summer food service program when the beach is closed due to weather.

HarborArts received $1,000 to towards its annual end of the summer HarborArts Festival at the Boston Shipyard and Marina on Marginal Street. The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh will get $1,000 for educational activities at area beaches.

The money distributed is part of Save the Harbor / Save the Bay’s Better Beaches grant program.

The Eastie organizations were chosen because they support free public events at the beach or along the waterfront. Eighteen other organizations from beachfront communities from Nahant to Nantasket were also awarded grants.

“The City of Boston is lucky to have great public beaches, and we appreciate the hard work of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Save the Harbor / Save the Bay and volunteers from our waterfront neighborhoods to provide great free programs for our residents,” said Nancy L. Girard, Commissioner of the City of Boston’s Environment Department.

“The BostonHarbor region’s public beaches are important assets to the region’s residents and visitors alike,” said Patricia A. Foley, president of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. “We are proud to support our partners in the city’s waterfront neighborhoods and beachfront communities as they work to share their beaches and the harbor with the region’s kids and families.”

Save the Harbor / Save the Bay launched the Better Beaches Program in 2008 to help local communities and formal and informal beaches Friends Groups jump-start free events and activities on public beaches from Nahant to Nantasket with the support of The Boston Foundation.

Today funds to sustain this program come from the annual “Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash” pledge fundraiser, and Save the Harbor’s Better Beaches Program funding partners at Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue Airways, National Grid, Comcast Massachusetts, the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust, Russo Marine, and P&G Gillette.

This year the “Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash” raised more than $30,000 from nearly 500 splashers and supporters to fund this year’s Better Beaches program grants, as participants competed for JetBlue Airways tickets and great gifts from Harpoon Brewery.

In addition to the grants, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay also gave each group a bag of one-inch diameter blue marbles to scatter on their respective beaches as part of the “Simply Marble-ous” Treasure Hunt sponsored by JetBlue Airways. Anyone who finds one of these marbles between July 4th and the end of the summer will have a chance to win a round trip airline ticket from JetBlue Airways.

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