Mayor’s Office

Pomerleau Family Foundation Creates Scholarship Fund for City of Burlington Youth Recreational Opportunities

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 5, 2019

Contact:  Olivia LaVecchia

                   (802) 734-0617

 

                   Ara Hagan

                   (802) 863-5956

 

Pomerleau Family Foundation Creates Scholarship Fund
for City of Burlington Youth Recreational Opportunities

Created in memory of Antonio Pomerleau, the $25,000 scholarship fund will make it possible for more Burlington children to attend the programs and camps of the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront and Burlington City Arts departments

 

Burlington, VT – The Pomerleau Family Foundation, along with Mayor Miro Weinberger, today announced the donation of $25,000 to the City of Burlington to create the Pomerleau Family Children’s Recreation Fund, a scholarship fund for Burlington youth to participate in the programs and camps offered by the City. Created in memory of Antonio “Tony” Pomerleau, the fund’s dedication commemorates the one-year anniversary of his passing.

 

“When I remember Tony Pomerleau’s remarkable life, one of the achievements that stands out most is the many opportunities that he helped provide to Burlington children,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “I am deeply appreciative of this generous donation from the Pomerleau Family Foundation, which honors Tony’s legacy and helps ensure that many more Burlington youth will have access to the enriching activities that Tony championed.”

 

“We know our dad would be so happy knowing more children have a chance to participate in these joyful and meaningful programs,” said Ernie Pomerleau. “He wanted every child to have the opportunity to thrive and to reach their full potential. We know that the Pomerleau Family Children’s Recreation Fund will make a difference in children’s lives and that the experiences will bring smiles to their faces, an expression echoed by all the Pomerleau family.”

 

Tony Pomerleau was a Vermont entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist who lived to be 100 years old, passing away in February 2018. His generosity was felt throughout Vermont, but closest to his heart was helping children. One of Mr. Pomerleau’s favorite annual traditions was hosting a Christmas party for hundreds of children.

 

For 75 of Mr. Pomerleau’s years, his home was Burlington and he cared deeply about this community. While all of Burlington was important to him, the Old North End held special meaning. He rented an apartment there, started his business career from there, got married, and started his family all in the Old North End.

 

As a result of this generous donation from the Pomerleau Family Foundation, the City will be able to provide scholarships for many more community members to attend the extensive youth programming offered by the City’s Parks, Recreation & Waterfront and Burlington City Arts departments. Both of these departments strive to make their programming accessible to all: In Fiscal Year 2019, the departments budgeted a combined $65,000 for recreation scholarships, and the City never turns a family away from programming due to ability to pay. The Pomerleau Family Children’s Recreation Fund will greatly increase the City’s scholarship capacity.

 

Across the Parks Department, Burlington City Arts, and the Fletcher Free Library – the third City department that offers extensive youth programming – the region’s children participated in City educational programs and camps 28,798 times in 2018. In recent months, the City has been working to collaborate across these three departments in order to combine expertise in youth programming, develop new offerings to address community needs, and reach even more Burlington families.

 

“The number of youth scholarships requested by families from our Department continues to grow and we are constantly seeking ways to ensure Burlington kids have every opportunity to access our programs,” said Cindi Wight, director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront. “Thank you to the Pomerleau Family Foundation for this very generous gift in memory of your father to honor his decades of dedication to bettering the lives of thousands of Burlington families.”

 

The benefits of arts education for young people are enormous,” said Doreen Kraft, director of Burlington City Arts. “The arts offer multiple learning options for many different learning styles, making them a valuable tool for reducing the opportunity gap. This generous gift from the Pomerleaus means more youth will have access to high quality learning through the arts, and those experiences will be more equitably distributed. We couldn’t be more grateful for this support and thank the Pomerleau family for continuing its legacy of uplifting our community’s youth.”

 

Please see the following for additional information:

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
04/05/2019
City Department: 
Mayor's Office