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$143,000 from East Bay Community Foundation for Contra Costa Needs

Grants for Elderly, Low-Income, Health, Theatre, Families in Crisis

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The East Bay Community Foundation has made $143,000 in grants benefitting programs assisting the elderly, low-income people in need, theatre, cancer patients, and families in crisis in Contra Costa County.

The grants are the result of the generosity of one of the Foundation's donors, Sharon Beswick, a longtime giver to charitable causes in Contra Costa County.

"Sharon Beswick's history of giving back is emblematic of the work of the 500-plus individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations holding charitable funds with us," said Janet Y. Spears, the Foundation's Chief Operating Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer.  "Through her funds with the East Bay Community Foundation, Sharon has donated more than $1.7 million to worthy causes since 2002.  She has a love for Contra Costa County and for Antioch in particular.    

Beswick's best known work is, perhaps, the support she provided for the restoration of the El Campanil Theatre in Antioch, a community  landmark built in 1928 and rescued in 2003.  The Theatre's screen and stage now host classic films, live performances, and a children's theatre program.  

Opportunity Junction in Antioch, which helps low-income residents gain job skills and find jobs, will receive $30,000

An Elderly Wish Foundation in Antioch, which helps life-long wishes come true for terminally ill older people, will receive $30,000.

The El Campanil Theatre Preservation Foundation, which supports the Theatre's activities and programs, will receive $25,000

The John Muir Health Foundation, which supports John Muir Health's community health programs, will receive $20,000.

The Network of Care in Concord, which assists families in crisis when a child is suddenly hospitalized, will receive $10,000.

Kaleidoscope Cancer Connection in Byron, which provides emotional and spiritual support for cancer patients, will receive $5,000.

Antioch Historical Society, which operates a museum that is on he National Register of Historic places, will receive a $5,000 matching grant.   

The Antioch Woman's Club, which promotes education, preserves natural resources and encourages healthy lifestyles, will receive $3,000 for its annual scholarship program.   

In 2009, Beswick's philanthropy was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.  At the time, Beswick, a former nurse at John Muir Health, said her inspiration for philanthropy came from her late husband, insurance agent Bob Beswick, an Antioch native.

"He loved Antioch," she said at the time.  "He had been here since the early 1950s.  He wanted to leave a legacy and he left a good one."

(Antioch) Sports LegendsAntioch Sports Complex, and Antioch Senior Center have also received grants from Beswick in the past.  

East Bay Community Foundation (www.ebcf.org) transforms lives by harnessing financial capital, leadership and philanthropic expertise through the power of many: partnerships with individual donors, business, government, and private foundations.  We are especially dedicated to advancing economic opportunity for those in need and the education that leads to it.  As a leading resource on charitable giving and community needs, we manage more than 500 charitable funds and endowments.   

SOURCE East Bay Community Foundation

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