The Belle Center

The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Awards The Belle Center Over $200,000

The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Awards The Belle Center Over $200,000

Buffalo, New York – August 16, 2012 –The singing and laughter of toddlers rehearsing the alphabet, the audible pronunciations of basic sentences in English Language Learning class by adult students from all around the world, the clicking of gathered rakes and brooms headed out for a service project; these are the sounds of The Belle Center. Sounds that will continue to grow, with the help of a $211,599 grant from The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation for capital development and general operating support.

The Trustees of the Foundation stated, “The Belle Center has exhibited smart growth and is fiscally taking the appropriate measures to improve upon the services provided by the organization for the greater good of the community. The Belle Center is a strong organization. After we visited and saw the fruits of our initial investment we were confident that providing further support would indeed help build capacity for growth in services to the neighborhood.”

The Belle Center is a haven of hope and opportunity for members in the community and a place where leaders are created. You can tour the facility, see and feel the positivity in the atmosphere! Community members from widely diverse backgrounds fill the corridors of the facility dropping their children off at daycare and continuing to ESL classes, workshops and/or service projects with Buffalo AmeriCorps. In the late afternoon you are met with the screeching of sneakers from lines of elementary to high school students heading to homework tutorial, skills and recreation classes. The Belle Center is a thriving organization whose staff and community members are committed to seeing positive changes take place and who want everyone to embody the organization’s slogan of living “Life in a positive light.”

An initial 2007, grant of $329,341 from The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation provided The Belle Center with the support it needed to make some serious transformations in its organizational model. The agency implements a cradle to success system for children and is host to over 15 programs and services. Each of the core programs incorporates an element of national service through the network of support from Buffalo AmeriCorps based at The Belle Center.

“We thank the Trustees of The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation- their multiple investments in our organization have and are continuing to help strengthen our current foundation for now and in preparation for the future,” stated Michael Rivera, President of the Board. “The Belle Center has been providing comprehensive services to the Buffalo and WNY region since 1976 and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of underserved children and families and the neighborhood.”

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About The Belle Center: The Belle Center is a non-profit community center that bridges the gaps to success for youth and families. Headquartered on the Lower West Side of Buffalo, NY The Belle Center has over three decades of service to the community. It provides over 15 premier programs and services to the citizens of Western New York. Our vision is to: “improve lives, create opportunities and foster self-sufficiency” for the hundreds of youth & families who frequent The Center on a daily basis. Our Center offers services with the flexibility to grow along with our children and youth. For more information join us for one of our bi-weekly tours, visit: www.thebellecenter.org/tours.