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June 14, 2021
 
Campaign Launched; Gift for Playground Re-do; Partnership Formed

May 11, 2021 — Latino Legacy Fund renames, launches $10M campaign. Esplanade Association gets $1.2M for playground. Two Massachusetts nonprofits form partnership.

Latino Legacy Fund Renames, Launches $10M Campaign

The Latino Legacy Fund, established in 2013 as the first and only Latino-focused fund in Massachusetts that supports organizations that help Latinos primarily through improving educational experiences, last week announced it changed its name to the Latino Equity Fund (LEF) to reflect its “commitment to create a more just and equitable community for Latinos,” and launched a $10 million fundraising campaign.

“COVID-19 was our reckoning,” said LEF co-chair Juan Lopera. “We said, ‘Let’s rethink our areas of focus, let’s rethink what we are about.’ And that’s how we decided to rebrand. It’s hard to think about the legacy we’re leaving behind when we have such equity issues. The Latino Equity Fund enters this new phase of work with more urgency than ever, as our nation—disproportionately the Latino community—reels from the greatest public health and economic crisis in a century.”

LEF’ said its $10 million campaign was launched with two major corporate commitments of $1 million each from Eastern Bank and State Street Corporation. Those gifts were added to a $333,000 gift from Tufts Health Plan and an anonymous gift of $450,000 received earlier this year.

Esplanade Association Gets $1.2M for Playground

The Esplanade Association, a Boston nonprofit that works to revitalize and enhance the Charles River Esplanade, a 64-acre park in downtown Boston, last week received, along with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation, a $1.2 million donation from former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to renovate the Charlesbank Playground.

The playground, to be renamed the Gronk Playground if legislation introduced last week is enacted, will be unveiled next year across from Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

Gronkowski made the donation through his Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, a nonprofit he started while in New England that focuses on keeping kids healthy and active, the Boston Herald reported, noting that he came up with the idea of donating and developing a playground about a year ago before deciding on the Charlesbank Playground.

Two Massachusetts Nonprofits Form Partnership

Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Massachusetts & Rhode Island (PLAN of MA & RI), based in Needham, recently announced it formed a strategic partnership with Watertown-based Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) to further support autistic individuals with Asperger’s or similar neurodiverse profiles and their families on their pathway to independence.

To support the partnership, PLAN of MA & RI gave $25,000 to AANE.

“We’re thrilled to partner with AANE and support the important services they provide,” said Joan McGrath, executive director of PLAN of MA & RI. “Their mission and ours are incredibly complementary, and we’re excited about all the ways we might collaborate together in the future.”

“The individuals we serve have definite needs regarding future financial planning to ensure they continue living their best lives,” said Dania Jekel, executive director of AANE. “We’re very excited to work together with PLAN of MA & RI to ensure our individuals and their families understand the many options that exist, and we are very grateful for their support.”

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