Hopewell Harvest Fair distributes $8,000 in grants to area organizations

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Nearly 20 Hopewell Valley nonprofit groups have been awarded grants by the Hopewell Harvest Fair Board of Trustees.

The 19 grant recipients work on a variety of issues, including youth, the arts and those that provide support for children who have special needs. Every group that requested a grant received one.

This year, the Hopewell Harvest Fair distributed $8,000 in grants, which is four times more than it awarded last year, according to Hopewell Harvest Fair representatives.

Money for the grants is generated through the annual Hopewell Harvest Fair, which takes place in Hopewell Borough. A percentage of the proceeds from the fair goes directly to the grants program, which has distributed more than $200,000 since its inception in 1987.

Among the grant recipients is Costume Hangers Inc., which will use its grant to pay for shipping costumes to children in need. The organization collects gently used dance costumes, shoes and accessories, and donates them to individuals and groups in the performing arts that are facing financial and funding challenges.

“The act of giving to those in need not only brings the community together, it also helps me to realize who I want to be in the future,” said Erik Sawicki, who formed Costume Hangers with his brother and sisters, Christopher, Emilie and Grace Sawicki.

The Hopewell Harvest Fair is all about the community, said Julie Sansone, president of the Board of Trustees.

“On the day of the fair, we bring thousands of residents together for a day of family fun. The proceeds from the event are invested back into the community through our grants,” Sansone said.

Grants also were awarded to the Hopewell Elementary School PTO Science Fair Committee, the Hopewell Valley Central High School PTO, Hopewell Valley Central High School Robotics, the Hopewell Valley Central High School Scholarship Fund and the Stony Brook Elementary School PTO.

Other recipients included Hopewell Boy Scout Troop 71, the Friends of Hopewell Open Space, the Hopewell Museum, the Hopewell Public Library, the Hopewell Valley Chorus and the Hopewell Valley Regional School District STRIVE PTO.

Also receiving awards were the Hopewell Valley Lions Club, the Sourland Conservancy, the OSIP Foundation, the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, HomeFront, Womanspace and the YingHua International School.

The Hopewell Harvest Fair has set Sept. 28 as the date for the next fair. Although the event is nine months away, the group is forming its planning committee and invites residents to take part in organizing the 2019 fair. Prospective volunteers may contact Heidi Wilenius at [email protected] or by calling 609-439-3574.