Where are we now?…

When we started Andrew’s Fund in 2016, we only knew that we wanted to help late teens and young adults. Gradually, we narrowed this to providing safe (but cool!) activities. Our first project was to fund a recording studio at a teen center in Greenwich; Andrew’s Studio opened in April, 2017. As you’ll read below, since then we’ve provided funding for some organizations involved with young adults, the use of Andrew’s Studio has grown and we’ve now helped the teen center expand its after-school café and add a theater program. And the SECOND ANDREW’S STUDIO will open on January 17th in Stamford, CT! See below for an invitation to the opening.

Andrew’s Studio at the Teen Center at Arch Street, Greenwich

The recording studio has now been operational for about 18 months. In that time, hundreds of teens/young adults have used the studio. Here are some excerpts from a letter sent to us earlier this year by the director, Kyle Silver, about the impact the studio is having: “These past 11 months have been an incredible accumulation of new youth at The Greenwich Teen Center, all thanks to The Andrew Rinaldi Memorial Fund. From the beginning steps we took to kickoff this project to where we are today providing a new opportunity for our community has been a fundamental break-through to our teens seeking guidance to better themselves week by week as they continue to work on
building their skills in Andrew’s Studio.

The first quarter .. we met many new faces….all of them shared the same mindset, a love for music. We were very pleased with the introduction process and what we had in store for the near future. Second quarter … Sessions in Andrew’s Studio varied from vocalists, to instrumentalists, lyricists, sound designers, producers, and even kids who had their first steps into the world of the arts. Third quarter … was the start of something new. One of our students finished writing, recording, and producing her first original song that she had been working on for several months in the studio, returning every week to fine-tune and complete the first record she had ever done in her life… Another student … When he first arrived at Andrew’s Studio he was unsure of what his future may entail, but it is clear to him today that he sees himself driven to make music his first career in life. To see this kind of inspiration and growth from an individual because of the support The Andrew Rinaldi Memorial Fund has created, is only something we could have dreamed of for these kids, but thankfully it is a reality….

The most important fundamental aspect of Andrew’s Studio has been healthy growth for the daily lives of these kids. We … have already witnessed a life-changing impact in our community within our students. Andrew’s Studio is not only a place where families look to, but where parents can experience the true nature of healthy development for their children.”

Domus House and Pacific House Activities Grants

In a continuation from 2017, we approved grants to provide activities for the young men who live at Domus House or the Pacific House Homeless Shelter, both in Stamford. These both house young men, aged 18-24, who are trying to find their way back into society. Both organizations do an excellent job of housing and supporting these men, including Work‘n’Learn programs and job placement, but they lack funding for regular social activities. Here are a few of the activities which Andrew’s Fund’s grant made possible for them this year: Go kart racing, paintball, visits to museums, movie outings, a trip to a baseball game, a trip to a car show, the fourth of July fireworks in Stamford and several bowling trips. In addition, it provided gym memberships for the young men. At any time, there are 8 men at Domus House and up to 14 men at Pacific House. The young men who leave these institutions have gone on to college or are working or have joined the military. Some younger ones from the Domus program have been reunited with their families.

Two New Projects!

In our quest to provide activities for more teens and young adults, we have identified and funded two new projects….

Theatre and Café at Arch Street

The Teen Center has just started a theatre program which will showcase plays with a message, chosen by a student-run council; the actors will be teens from the local area. Their first production is scheduled for March, 2019 and will be God of Carnage. We have given them a grant to add lighting to the stage at Arch Street where the plays will be staged.

In addition, we have funded the provision of table tennis tables, foosball tables, a pool table and video game consoles and screens at Arch Street. In the two weeks that they have been in use so far, they have proved very popular as a warm-up activity before dances and as an attraction to the Arch Street café which is open as an after-school activity three days a week.

A Recording Studio at Domus

We are very proud to announce that a second Andrew’s Studio will open on January 17th, 2019. Domus runs an alternative middle/high school in Stamford and the studio is located in the heart of the school. The Domus House Work’n’Learn students helped to build, design and decorate the studio and Andrew’s Fund has provided funds to equip the studio. Like the studio at Arch Street, the studio will be open and free for all; afternoon times will be for the Domus students and evening times will be for young adults in the Stamford area looking for an activity.

An Invitation….
Please join us to celebrate the Opening of Andrew’s Studio at
Domus, 83 Lockwood Ave, Stamford, CT, 06902
17th January 5:30pm – 7:30 pm
Student demonstrations, reception and dedication of the studio
RSVP and more information: asoler@domuskids.org or lucyrina@optonline.net

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