Gannett Awards $100,000 to Promise

A Community Thrives, a Gannett program of the USA TODAY Network, awarded $100,000 to Promise in Brevard’s Creative Arts Center.

A West Melbourne nonprofit agency serving adults with disabilities won one of three $100,000 grants awarded by A Community Thrives, a USA Today Network initiative. “It’s an answer to prayer for the families,” Promise in Brevard co-founder Betsy Farmer said about her organization, which will use the money to complete a creative arts center, which is under construction and may have its grand opening in November. Promise competed for online votes with nonprofits from across the country. The organization is building affordable housing for up to 126 special needs tenants next to the Hammock Landing shopping plaza in West Melbourne. 

“We’re so fortunate to work for a big company like Gannett that has a foundation that puts programs like this together,” FLORIDA TODAY President and Publisher Jeff Kiel said Saturday when he announced the award to a group of Promise supporters.  “We’re thrilled that this can help.” 

Beyond helping special needs adults find a place to live, Farmer said Promise also is trying to provide work and social opportunities for them.

The Saturday announcement that Promise in Brevard has won a $100,000 grant for their Creative Arts Center. Jeff Kiel, president and publisher of FLORIDA TODAY addresses a packed room of families and supporters gathered at Melbourne Community Church,in the Metro West Plaza, which allows Promise in Brevard to use their facility for meetings. With him in front of the audience is co-founders Betsy Farmer and her son, Luke. Promise in Brevard will be a community for adults with special needs in West Melbourne.

Part of that plan is the Creative Art Center, which will be open to the public and provide art classes and art therapy. “Art breaks down social barriers,” she said.

As part of its submission for A Community Thrives, Promise put together a three-minute video on which Farmer talks about the art center concept, and Promise participants discussed how art helps them express themselves. The offerings and plans from Promise persuaded Joe Pivinski to relocate from Boca Raton to Brevard County to get his 31-year-old daughter involved. Amanda Pivinski has severe social and communication issues stemming from autism, he said. 

“She can never live alone, but she can have a life here,” Pivinski said.
Pivinski said Promise is the best program he and his wife, Lucille, could find for his daughter. He credits the supporters of the organization. 
“It’s the most incredible grass roots effort I’ve ever seen,” Pivinski said. 

See the full article and video in Florida Today here

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