Community Endowment of Lexington

Lexington Battle Green, or Lexington Town Common, where the opening shots of the Revolutionary War took place

Who We Are

The Community Endowment of Lexington enhances the quality of life for Lexington citizens. CEL awards grants to nonprofits and town agencies working in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, the environment, and community building; provides ways for donors to give back and leave a legacy; and encourages innovative and collaborative solutions to issues facing Lexington, MA.

This fall, join us for LexDoingGood, our first-ever event to connect the community with Lexington’s nonprofits and town agencies.

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Apply for a grant from the Community Endowment of Lexington

Lexington Community Board

A group of local Lexington residents form the CEL Community Board. These local residents represent the different demographics of our town, and together raise the funds for grantmaking in Lexington and decide on the most impactful grants for our community.

Kimberly Hensle Lowrance


With more than 25 years working for and volunteering at nonprofits, Kimberly is experienced in directing mission-driven organizations, from finance and human resources to program development and strategic planning. Currently she is a freelance writer and consultant to nonprofits. She is also a member of and grant reviewer for The Philanthropy Connection; a Girl Scout Troop Leader; a PTA volunteer; the parent co-chair of Bridge Elementary School’s Site-Based Council; and a past member of the Board of Directors for LexFarm. She has lived in Lexington since 2011 and has two children in the Lexington Public Schools. Kimberly earned a BS from Boston University and EdM from Harvard University.

Mary Ann Sorel


Mary Ann is a lawyer, with expertise in corporate finance and corporate governance. She has previously worked as Junior Partner at Hale & Dorr (now WilmerHale), and as an associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, both in New York City and as special US counsel at Ashurst, London, England. Mary Ann holds a B.A. from Brown University and earned her law degree at the University of Michigan Law School, and she is a member of the New York State bar. She currently serves as Trustee and Vice-Chair of the Board, as well chair of the Committee on Trustees, of the International School of Boston in Cambridge, where her children have attended. She has served on the ISB Board for 8 years. Mary Ann also previously served as President of the Lexington Newcomers’ Club. Mary Ann and her husband Pierre have been residents of Lexington for 11 years, and they really enjoy the community and the rich history of Lexington. They have three children, the oldest of whom attends Lexington High School.

Thomas Brennan


Thomas Brennan is a partner at Posternak, Blankstein & Lund, LLP in the Corporate Department specializing in venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and smaller public companies. Mr. Brennan has been a Lexington resident since 2008 where he lives with his wife and two school aged daughters. He is the President of the Lexington High School Field Hockey Boosters and has been a Town Meeting member 2015-2018.

Nancy White

Nancy White and her husband Chris have lived in Lexington since 2002. Their two sons Sam and Max both attended Lexington public schools. Nancy is a CPA and a Tax Partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in their Boston office. She advises public and private corporations on income taxation and is the Northeast Tax Leader for the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Industry sector. Nancy is a past co-chair of the Community Endowment of Lexington and currently an Advisory Board Member for the Lexington Education Foundation where she served on the Board for six years and led the School Partnership Team. She has served as Treasurer and Vice President of the PTA at Bridge Elementary School and as Vice President of the PTA at Jonas Clarke Middle School. The Whites spend the long cold New England winters skiing at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire and summers sailing at the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club in Scituate, Massachusetts. Nancy received her BA in mathematics at Connecticut College and her MBA from Columbia Business School.

Ann Boese, PhD

Ann, and her husband, David Sheehan are originally from Minnesota and moved to Lexington in 1997, after Ann completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Boston University. They have two sons; a junior at Lexington High School and a junior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Professionally, Ann trained and worked in the Greater Boston area through Harvard Medical School and The Cambridge Hospital, concentrating in child and adolescent psychology, with an academic focus on the topic of resiliency. Over the past decade, she has been involved in numerous community non-profit organizations. She currently serves as: a Board Member and Communications Chair, the Cary Memorial Library Foundation; an Advisory Board Member for the Lexington Education Foundation (past Co-President and past Vice-President of Communications); and she is pleased to be a member of the Governance and Grant Review Committees for the Community Endowment of Lexington. Ann has also been involved in numerous local and state political campaigns, both chairing and working in communications and strategy. A member of Ateliers 28 & 29 at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Ann has exhibited her photography locally at Cary Memorial Library and the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society, as well as the DeCordova Museum in Concord, the Arlington Center for the Arts and the Atelier showcases at the Griffin.

Roberta Messina

Roberta has been a Lexington resident most all her life and on the Board of Community Endowment of Lexington since 2016 where she has served as chair of the Outreach Committee. Her professional experience includes a career in public education and corporate Human Resources as well as her own organizational development, team and leadership consulting and coaching practice. She holds a Masters Degree in Educational Counseling and Career Development from the University of California and a certificate in coaching from The Hudson Institute of California. She has been a board member of several not for profit organizations including the North Suburban YMCA where she led the strategic planning process and PEER Servants serving on the Executive Committee. She has been a volunteer for Minuteman Senior Services and currently volunteers as a docent for Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Judy Pappo

Judy moved to Lexington in 1988 with her husband and daughter. She has been an active volunteer in the Lexington public schools serving in leadership roles on a variety of boards and committees. She has a BA in Anthropology and a MEd in Museum Education. Her background includes developing and managing programs for museums and higher education.

Riaz Adamjee

Riaz is a Sr. Client Partner with Revenue Architects. He is a management consultant with expertise in strategy, operations, technology and data/information management across a broad range of domains including healthcare, financial services, higher education, and not-for-profits. Riaz is a Past President of Lexington Education Foundation and serves on their advisory board and enjoys working with other nonprofits locally and internationally. He has two children—currently in college—who attended Estabrook, Diamond, and LHS. Riaz has an Sc.M. in Management and an Sc.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Wei Ding, PhD

Wei is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has been the faculty senate chair of the College of Science and Mathematics at UMass Boston since 2016. Wei will also be joining the National Science Foundation as a program manager in the summer of 2019. Her research interests include data mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and computational semantics. Wei has published more than 130 referred research papers and one book and currently holds three patents. Passionate about community service, Wei is also currently the Culture Committee co-chair of the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) and a member of the Town Celebration Committee of Lexington. Wei also has been serving on CEL’s Outreach Committee since 2018.

Patricia Jacotin

Patricia has lived in Lexington since 2015 with her husband, Henry, two elementary school-aged sons, and toddler daughter. Patricia joined CEL’s Advancement Committee in 2018 and looks forward to working on the newly created CEL Operations Committee. Patricia is a former Hospital Administrator with two Master’s degrees in Public Health and Business Administration. Since moving to Lexington, Patricia has enjoyed applying her professional experience and skills to various volunteer roles around town. Patricia is currently an active member of the Bridge School Parent Teacher Association, Lexington Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, LexFUN!, Association of Black Citizens of Lexington Education Committee, and Lexington Education Foundation School Partnerships Committee.

Mary Ellen Ringo

Mary Ellen currently serves as the Director of Development for the Cary Memorial Library Foundation and has enjoyed being part of the Lexington community with her family for twenty years. Her three boys all have been educated in Lexington, with her son Daniel graduating from LHS in 2015, Stephen in 2018, and Michael a senior there. During her time here, she has served as the co-president of the Lexington Education Foundation, the Bridge School PTA, and the Pre School PTA Association (now LexFUN). She also practiced employment law and litigation with Palmer and Dodge LLP. She graduated from Princeton University and Boston College Law School. In her free time, she enjoys reading nonfiction, hiking and traveling. Mary Ellen has been serving on CEL’s Outreach Committee since 2018.

Lisah Rhodes

Lisah Rhodes has a background in business and education holding an MBA and MEd with experience in both private and public sectors and a lifelong commitment to volunteerism. Lisah is experienced in nonprofit finance, management and community development in her volunteer work with The Junior League of Boston (Treasurer-Elect, Treasurer), MFA Museum Council, Lexington Town Meeting, Lexington Recreation Committee, Lexington Education Foundation, Lexington Community Center Task Force and League of Women Voters. Lisah lives in Lexington with her husband and two sons and works at Lexington Public Schools as a system-wide elementary Instructional Technology Specialist and has consulted as a coach with the Harvard Graduate School of Education World Wide/Project Zero consortium.


Angel Dance
Ken and Jane Ansin
Paula and Russ Antonevich
Elaine M. Ashton and Jarkko J. Hietaniemi
Pauline and Amos Benninga
Jean and Neal Birnberg
Lisa and Jeff Boehm
Elizabeth and Roger Borghesani
Elizabeth and Don Briggs
Deborah and David Brown
Suzanne and John Bruno
Carl and Suzie Byers
Alejandro Caro and Caroline Yang
Saeeda Carrimjee and Riaz Adamjee
Chinese American Association of Lexington
Ciccolo Family Foundation
Christina and Tim Cohen
Constance and Lewis Counts
Margaret Counts-Klebe and Skott Klebe
Judith and David Craver
Susan Culman
Ke Fang and Evan Fang
Finnegan Development
Jane Chen Fulop and Ric Fulop
Anne and Babak Ghayour
Christine and John Gordon
Kimberly and Michael Gruber
Kimya and Mike Harris
Shirley and Charles Hurwitz
Beverly and Peter Kelley
Trisha and Mike Kennealy
Ron and Alison Kermisch
Bob and Mary Etta King
Florence Koplow
Anne Kubik and Mike Krupka
Stephanie and David Lawrence
Lexx Restaurant (2004-2019)
Xinwei (Christine) Lin and Jianxin Gao
Kimberly Hensle Lowrance and Rob Lowrance
Dr. Yuci Ma, Specialist in Orthodontics
Stacey and David Mann
Innessa Manning and Karthik Ramanathan
Leslie and Colin Masson
Joy and Duncan McCallum
Roberta and Tony Messina
Stephanie and Michael Mitzenmacher
The Moodys
George and Beth Murnaghan
Corinne and Tim Noyes
Allison Mnookin and Cory Olcott
Evelyn and David Peterman
Cecilia and Jeff Porter
Sara and Greg Poulos
Gretchen and Christopher Reisig
Robert Rotberg
Amar and Deepika Sawhney
Susan Schiffer and James Barsoum
The Sheth Family
Mary Ann and Pierre Sorel
Victoria and Don Sullivan
Yike Tang
Yolanda and Brooks Taylor
Donna and Robert Vigoda
The Walsh Family
Nancy and Chris White
Linda and Richard Wolk
The Yan/Meng Family
Judith and Albert Zabin
Leslie and Sam Zales
The Zhu Family
Anonymous (3)

Grant Programs

Annual Grant Program

CEL's 2020 grant application process opens January 17, 2020 and applications are due by 5pm March 13, 2020. Please read our Grant Guidelines for more information.

Capacity Building Grant Program

In 2019, CEL launched this new grantmaking initiative with support from the Ciccolo Family Foundation. The goal of this program to fund efforts that strengthen a nonprofit's ability to achieve its mission, such as infrastructure building, strategic planning, staff training, and more. The first recipient of this grant is the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (LexGWAC). CEL's funding will be directed to support organizational development and strategic planning work, as well as a website redesign, in order to educate and raise awareness about climate change and its impact.

Food Link, Inc.

Food Link rescues fresh food, alleviates hunger, and contributes to environmental sustainability.

This grant will expand food deliveries to Lexington, increasing the number of agencies served in Lexington from three to five, as well as increase the amount of food provided to current agencies.

Lexington Arts and Crafts Society

Lexington Arts and Crafts Society encourages and inspires artisans at all stages of their creative journeys and promotes art in the community by providing studio space, gallery shows, classes and workshops.

This grant will support the Artisan’s Market, an annual two-day event in July.

Lexington Community Farm Coalition

Lexington Community Farm Coalition (LexFarm) connects the community to locally grown, organic food and sustainable farming practices while preserving historic farmland. LexFarm makes the landscape of a working farm accessible to community members of all ages and abilities through educational programs, community events, and volunteer opportunities, as well as its farmstand and CSA program.

This grant will support the hiring of an education consultant to develop a road map for a comprehensive, sustainable education program. The consultant will work with LexFarm leadership to assess the current program and develop expanded farm and environmental education.

Lexington Tourism Committee

The Lexington Tourism Committee promotes Lexington tourism as part of the economic development strategy to maximize revenues from Lexington’s visitors-based economy.

This grant will support the restoration of the diorama of the Battle of Lexington, which will be featured in the new Visitors Center and help visitors understand Lexington’s historic role in American history. The diorama will both be restored and made wheelchair accessible.


LexRAP supports and assists refugees and asylum seekers integrate into American society. This assistance includes a support network for housing, food, clothing, transportation, health care, education (especially English), employment, legal aid, and socialization.

This grant will support Hand in Hand Cafe, which provides local refugee women the opportunity to cook dinners for paying guests and has the goals of building community and understanding, as well as providing the women a chance to learn job skills related to the food industry.

Munroe Center for the Arts

Munroe Center for the Arts furthers the cultural and artistic education of the residents in the community.

This grant will support board members with instruction and training led by professionals, helping the MCA Board understand its roles and responsibilities and providing them with the necessary infrastructure and tools to undertake its work in support of the Center’s mission.

Nashoba Learning Group

Nashoba Learning Group enables children and adults with autism to function with the greatest possible productivity and independence in the community, home, and workplace throughout their lives.

This grant will support the Vocational Program, which strives to place students with autism in meaningful work opportunities, as it seeks to expand its reach of volunteer services to include Lexington.

Neighbor Brigade

Neighbor Brigade establishes community-specific networks of volunteers that can be mobilized to help residents facing sudden crisis manage day-to-day tasks such as meal preparation, rides, and basic household chores.

This grant will support a collaboration with Japanese Support Group of Lexington that would allow Japanese Lexington residents to participate in and contribute to volunteer activities with fellow Lexington residents in a meaningful and impactful way.

Shadaj, Inc.

Shadaj, Inc. cultivates, nurtures, and promotes Indian Classical Music in its most authentic form through intimate concerts, music appreciation sessions, and lecture demonstrations as a platform for cultural integration and community outreach.

This grant will support the East Meets West annual community outreach event, which facilitates cultural and musical exchange by inviting people from diverse cultural backgrounds to participate in a series of lecture-demonstrations and a concert.

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc.

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. provides people with disabilities opportunities that celebrate each person’s unique abilities while cultivating creative expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life-enhancing activities in the arts.

This grant will support marketing efforts and the purchase of equipment (amplifiers, keyboard, and more) for SNAP’s musical performances.

Friends of Lexington Bikeways

The Friends of Lexington Bikeways promotes and supports biking and the shared use of bicycle routes in and around Lexington, MA.

This grant will support a tri-town community celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway that will feature events in Lexington, Arlington and Bedford, and along the bikeway.

Lexington Chamber Music Center

Lexington Chamber Music Center promotes the study of classical chamber music to help students become more accomplished musicians and find fulfillment in their musical lives.

This grant will support The Front Porch Project, aimed to explore intentionally slowing down and creating purposeful, organic community concerts on neighborhood front porches.

Lexington Historical Society

Lexington Historical Society is passionate about preserving Lexington’s history and sharing it with the public.

This grant will support a season-long celebration commemorating the centennial anniversary of the ending of WWI. The celebration will include lectures, exhibits, programs, and a panel discussion.

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (SNAP)

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. provides people with disabilities opportunities that celebrate each person’s unique abilities while cultivating creative expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life-enhancing activities in the arts.

This grant is enabling SNAP to launch a pilot ceramics program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Town of Lexington

The Town of Lexington is celebrated as the site of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War, and is now a vibrant community that is home to more than 31,000 individuals.

This grant will support the purchase tablets that are outfitted with a translation application to improve communication between town staff and Lexington residents and visitors whose first language is not English.

William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps, Inc.

The William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps is designed to promote the study of both music and history among young people, particularly the traditions of fife and drum music.

As part of the Corp’s first capital campaign, this grant will support the purchase of five new authentic-quality fifes and three hand-sewn uniforms, benefiting multiple generations of Lexington’s youth.

Friends of Minute Man National Park

The Friends of Minute Man National Park is an independent nonprofit organization supporting the Park’s mission through advocacy, education, fundraising, and volunteerism.

This grant will support the construction of the Parker’s Revenge Battle Site Trail Loop Project, a 1500-foot educational trail loop that will protect the area’s archaeological and ecological sensitivity.

Lexington Recreation and Community Programs Department

The Lexington Recreation and Community Programs Department strives to provide affordable, quality programs meeting the needs of the community. The Department promotes participation by all Lexington residents in safe, accessible, and well-maintained facilities.

This grant will support two CPR/First Aid/AED certification courses for Lexington residents, including one train-the-trainer course. This program will ultimately provide a safer community environment.

Lexington Youth and Family Services (LYFS)

LYFS’ mission is to promote healthy social and emotional development among Lexington youth and families by providing advocacy, prevention, and intervention services to keep youth safe.

This grant will help implement “Balancing on the Hyphen”, a six-part multicultural community education initiative designed to address generational and cultural divide issues. This program will be done in concert with The Korean Organization of Lexington (KoLex) and a Multicultural Sponsoring Board.

Munroe Center for the Arts (MCA)

The mission of the MCA is to further the cultural and artistic education of the residents of Lexington.

This grant will support the MCA’s The Refugee Diaspora project, an artistic collaboration intended to educate Lexington residents about the refugee experience. Through the arts and this program, the MCA hopes to promote local engagement.

Neighbor Brigade

Neighbor Brigade establishes community-specific networks of volunteers that can be mobilized to help residents facing sudden crisis manage day-to-day tasks such as meal preparation, rides, and basic household chores.

This grant will support volunteer growth and diversification in Neighbor Brigade’s Lexington chapter. By increasing volunteer engagement and diversity of volunteers in the areas of age, gender and ethnicity, the organization will better meet the needs of Lexington’s growing and diverse population, including all residents whom are facing temporary crises.

Supportive Living, Inc (SLI)

The mission of SLI is to raise the quality of life for survivors of brain injury. To achieve this mission, SLI develops appropriate and affordable supportive housing; provides life-long physical, cognitive and social fitness through wellness programs; and fosters research aimed at improving the lives of people with brain injury.

This grant will support the SLI Total Health Summer Camp in bringing together disabled and nondisabled Lexington residents in wellness programs.

The Children's Room

The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone.

This grant will support the operations of a school-based peer support group for grieving teens on site at Lexington High School.

Lexington Community Farm Coalition (LexFarm)

Lexington Community Farm is a working farm that connects the community to local food and sustainable practices while preserving historic farmland. Using sustainable land management techniques that protect the farm's open space on town-owned conservation land, LexFarm grows and distributes vegetables through community-supported agriculture (CSA) and at its farm stand. Residents of all ages and abilities are invited to engage with the farm and the environment through hands-on education programs and volunteer opportunities. In addition, LexFarm accepts SNAP/EBT at the farm stand and donates approximately 10% of produce grown to families in need.

This grant will enable LexFarm to move to the next level in its organizational growth, providing consulting services for board development, an analytics dashboard and a business plan for long-term planning across the different program areas.

Lex Eat Together

Lex Eat Together recognizes that hunger and social isolation exist within Lexington and the surrounding communities. Their purpose is to offer a welcoming environment without question for anyone who comes to a weekly dinner. By providing a free, nutritious meal on a weekly basis to all who attend, in a manner and setting that recognizes and honors the dignity of every individual, Lex Eat Together can address the hunger in our midst and provide an equally important component of community: reducing isolation.

This grant will help Lex Eat Together pilot a transportation program for greater and broader access to their weekly dinners by those who do not have access to needed transportation.

Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (LexGWAC)

LexGWAC's mission is to education and raise awareness of climate change and its impacts. They promote actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard the health of the planet for future generations. They accomplish their mission through a speaker series, a movie series and by working with Lexington town government to pass warrant articles to help Lexington address climate change.

This grant will enable LexGWAC to run a large scale "Sustainability Fair" coordinating initiatives by and for Lexington town government, businesses and residents and highlighting health, energy, resilience, and sustainability in the face of climate change.

Lexington Office of Public Health

Under the direction of the Lexington Board of Health, the mission of the Lexington Office of Public Health is to prevent disease and promote wellness in order to protect and improve the health and quality of life of its residents, visitors and workfoce.

This grant will enable the Lexington Health Department to do a quantitative tick survey in order to assess the risks to our community and provide an educational public health program for residents about tick-borne diseases.

Communities for Restorative Justice

Communities for Restorative Justice is a community-police partnership program. Their mission is to provide communities with a complement to the traditional judicial system, wherein: (1) victims of crime can interact in a safe environment with those who have harmed them in a safe environment; (2) offenders can better understand the impact of their actions; and (3) the community connections are strengthened.

This grant is enabling C4RJ staff to train additional Lexington police officers, raise community awareness of restorative justice and its benefits, and recruit and train local volunteers--resulting in a stronger, healthier community.

Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN)

Domestic Violence Services Network provides direct and ancillary support services to domestic violence victims across MetroWest. . FACT #1: 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence or sexual assault in her lifetime. FACT #2: 1 in 5 high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

This grant is allowing the organizations, in partnership with the Lexington Police Department, to provide four Realistic Escape Strategies and Instinct-based Self-defense Training courses as Lexington High School.

Lexington Symphony Orchestra

Lexington Symphony is a professional orchestra of musicians who share a passion for classical music, a commitment to community engagement, and a dedication to exacting standards of performance, offering six concerts a year. The Symphony also reaches thousands of area youth through the Orchestrating Kids Through Classics program.

This grant is providing funding for the MovieMusic program, including a day of artistic family activities and an evening full-length concert featuring classic movie music.

Lexington Tourism Committee- Antony Park

Antony Park commemorates the relationship with Lexington's sister city, Antony, France. The park's design is based on historical French formal gardens and will be located in the seldom-used area of Tower Park. This outdoor space will be preserved and beautified for a place to revitalize, enjoy community events and performances or simply meet for a picnic or bagged lunch.

This grant will assist LTC in completing the park's construction, primarily the beautiful and anchoring stonework.

Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. (SNAP)

For over 30 years, SNAP has worked to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities through direct involvement in the arts, resulting in a connected and warm community of artists, staff and volunteers.

This grant is enabling the expansion of the SNAP program and providing resources to enroll more students who are on the waiting list.


What is the Community Endowment of Lexington?

The Community Endowment of Lexington (CEL) was established in 2013 by Lexington residents as an initiative to build a permanent endowment to strengthen our community. CEL enhances the quality of life for Lexington citizens. CEL awards grants to nonprofits and town agencies working in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, the environment, and community building; provides ways for donors to give back and leave a legacy; and encourages innovative and collaborative solutions to issues facing Lexington, MA.

CEL is an endowed fund of the Foundation for MetroWest. As such, it is a permanent, steady source of funding for the town of Lexington. Each year, spending is limited to a designated percentage of the endowment, leaving the rest to build for the future.

How will we make a difference in Lexington?

The Community Endowment of Lexington supports nonprofits and town agencies working to create solutions for current needs and implementing new ideas that will improve Lexington now and in the future.

How can I make a contribution?

You may make a gift to the Community Endowment of Lexington by check, stock, mutual fund or real estate, or through a donor advised fund or private foundation. The staff at Foundation for MetroWest can work with you and your financial adviser to review various planned giving options. All gifts qualify for the maximum tax benefit offered.