Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Newsletter: February 2016

Karen Bechtel, Executive Director

Karen Bechtel, Executive Director

With shorter days and dipping temperatures, an inclination can arise to become more insular. As I reflect on the past months at the Chest however, I find that the cold weather does not drive our community inward. With a tenacious spirit that is such an essential characteristic of our community, we continue to reach out, engage and make meaningful connections.

Last week the Chest was incredibly fortunate to host Dr. Annie Brewster, Founder and Executive Director of Health Story Collaborative for our community speaker event. Her message of building community through story telling was inspiring as was her drive to create a solution to an identified problem. At the Chest, we believe that giving voice to those who are struggling and offering support and compassion is essential for a strong community. Likewise, we know that supporting the launching of new initiatives that answer the call of emerging needs allows our towns to thrive and serve its populations.

At the speaker event I had the opportunity to connect with current board members and overseers, donors who have been giving for more than 40 years and volunteers who have tirelessly offered their time. I continue to be awed by the depth of commitment by such a broad range of community members. This commitment is regenerated every year with a new group of 32 dedicated allocation members who come together to review grant submissions and meet with non-profit organizations doing such important work in our community.

While many of us look forward to sunny days and leaving our heavy coats behind, we are fortunate to benefit from a hearty New England spirit that embraces challenges and generates a warmth and energy that sustains us through these cold months.

Karen Bechtel

Please Consider Supporting the Chest

Thank you to those who have already given

Thank you to the many generous community members who have made donations to the Chest’s campaign this year. As we receive funding requests from over 30 non-profit organizations, we are struck by the stories of need within our community. From helping seniors receive meals and daily check-ins, to providing access to curriculum-based programs for adults with development delays to providing fresh food for families requiring sustenance, we are inspired by the work being done in our community to help neighbors in need.

Thank you if you have already given this year. If you have not, we hope you will consider helping your neighbors with a gift to the Community Chest.

The Community Chest needs your Support

Together we can continue to strengthen our community. It starts with you.


We are pleased to host our 5th Annual Luncheon Celebrating Women in Philanthropy


Linda Rossetti
Author, “Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life”

Co-Chair Kelly Driscoll with LInda Rossetti and Honorary Chair Valerie Kolligian Thayer

Thursday, March 10
11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Nashawtuc Country Club
1861 Sudbury Rd.
Concord, MA 01742

Honorary Event Chair: Valerie Kolligian Thayer
Event Co-Chairs: Kelly Driscoll and Trish Siefer

Committee Members
Faith Bade
Amy Capofreddi
Katie Fahey
Natalie Gekle
Cary Keller
Suzanne Kelliher
Martha McKennitt
Alison Sullivan
Alexandra Wight

Please click HERE to reserve your $35 ticket!

For more information about Linda Rossetti and her important work, please visit Women and

grant allocations team 2016

The 2016 Grant Allocation Process Coming to a Close!

Thank you to our 32 community volunteers

Thank you to our 32 community volunteers

In January, the Chest launched its grant allocation process with 32 community members volunteering their time. Over the next few months, teams of four people will meet with the non-profit organizations requesting funds from the Chest. We greatly appreciate allocation members’ commitment to being part of this important process.
Red Feather Circle
Create your lasting legacy by joining the Red Feather Circle

We invite you to consider providing for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest in your estate plan. Legacy gifts help ensure funding for the future work of the Chest, allowing it in turn to meet the most urgent needs of our beloved towns, as those evolve over time.

As the Chest considers its fiscal sustainability in a time of increasing competition for charitable dollars, we invite you to add to your investment in our work by making a legacy gift to the Chest. Legacy Gifts – sometimes known as planned gifts – will help us build a pipeline of future support, thereby ensuring that our work can continue.

To speak with someone in confidence about legacy giving and our Red Feather Circle, please contact Karen Bechtel, Executive Director of the Community Chest, at , or 978-369-5250

Please Save the Date!

A Dueling Piano Bar
Fabulous Food
Unique Silent Auction Items
Open Bar

Volunteer Opportunities

These organizations would love your help

FISH of Concord, founded more than 40 years ago, is an all-volunteer organization which provides rides to and from medical appointments in the area for residents of Concord and Carlisle. (FISH does not go to Boston.) FISH has no age limit, although it does not transport unaccompanied minors, and is happy to serve anyone who is able to ride in a passenger car. FISH depends on volunteers who are asked to serve one day a month or more. FISH is particularly in need of drivers at the moment, but also needs volunteers who receive requests from a professional answering service and arrange rides. This can be done from home. Drivers use their own cars, gas, and insurance and drivers can limit the number of rides they are able to do. FISH volunteers have all felt that their experience has been rewarding and informative. Driving a long-time resident is a great way to learn local history! To volunteer, please contact Louise Haldeman at (978)369-8562.

English at Large
Volunteer at English At Large and you can help local adults learn the English language skills needed to adjust to life in the U.S. while participating in the Concord and Carlisle community. English At Large has helped adults achieve their life goals through English language instruction since 1970. Our volunteers receive training and ongoing support. Schedules are flexible and require a 1.5 – 2 hour weekly commitment. Volunteer roles are available immediately! Visit to sign up or email for more information about how to get involved.