Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wessel Prize Awarded; Ceremony to be held Oct. 29 in New Haven

Wessel Prize Awarded to Three Local "Unsung Heroes" for Compassionate Service
NEW HAVEN  - The Morris Wessel Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven announces that the 2011 Wessel Prize for creative and compassionate service to New Haven area children and families has been awarded to the following individuals and their organizations: Dexter Singleton and Collective Consciousness Theatre, Rafael Ramos and and Junta @ Big Turtle Village and Joanne Sciulli and Solar Youth.
Each organization will receive $4,000 and will be honored at an awards ceremony on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Fair Haven School Black Box Theater, 164 Grand Avenue, New Haven.
The community is invited to attend and learn more about these New Haven treasures and their impact in the Greater New Haven region:
Collective Consciousness Theatre is a multicultural theatre company dedicated to social change through the art of live theatre. CCT believes that theatre is a powerful art form that can inspire others, help them to imagine the possibilities and push them to ignite social change. Its productions tour year-round to schools, youth facilities, prisons, communities and theatres across the country. In its short existence, CCT has toured throughout Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Iowa, reaching more than 10,000 students and adults each year.
Junta @ Big Turtle Village is a ten year old initiative of Junta for Progressive Action that brings New Haven youth to camp in the forest of Eastern Connecticut. The program encourages new friendships, builds self-esteem and creates a community environment while allowing the kids to enjoy and learn about the wonders of nature.
Solar Youth is a nonprofit environmental education and youth development organization founded in the fall of 2000 to help youngsters from New Haven's poorest neighborhoods explore their environment and become citizens who work together to solve problems. Its mission is to provide opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self, and a connection and commitment to others, through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership and community service. Solar Youth's work is built around three main goals and activities: Kids explore! Kids do! Kids teach!
The Morris Wessel Fund was established in 1993 at The Community Foundation by patients, colleagues, and friends to honor Dr. Morris Wessel's retirement from forty-two years of pediatric care and nurturing of Greater New Haven's children. The Wessel prize is bestowed annually to individuals and their organizations who creatively and compassionately lead efforts to support children and families in need. Past recipients of the Wessel Prize include: Karen DelVecchio, Donna Savia, St. Martin dePorres Academy (Mary Surowiekci), Bikes for Babes (Dan Perrotto), Grandparents on the Move, the Connecticut Health Policy Project, the Mob Squad (Al Shakir), The Natural Guard, the Inner City Bicycle Program (David Clough), The Cesar Jerez Catholic Worker House, and Leg Up (Anne Gallant). Donations may be made to support the work of The Morris Wessel Fund online at or by check to The Morris Wessel Fund, c/o The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510. All gifts are tax deductible. For more information about the Fund, please contact Paul Wessel at 203-410-8018 or
Since 1928, donors to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven have built the community's endowment currently valued at over $300 million. In 2010, The Foundation's Board of Directors distributed more than $19 million in grants from over 800 different named charitable funds supporting a wide range of programs and organizations. For more information, visit or

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is laregly unedited here.

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