Housatonic Community College Foundation

July 19, 2007, For immediate release

Contact: Maureen Dowdle 332-5078

Werth Family Foundation Contributes to Housatonic CC Major Gifts Campaign

Barbara P. Johnson, president of the Housatonic Community College Foundation, Inc., has announced a gift from the Werth Family Foundation to the Housatonic Foundation Major Gifts Campaign now underway. The Foundation is seeking to raise $1 million which will assist the College to continue to provide convenient and affordable post-secondary training and life-long learning to those in the Greater Bridgeport area.

The Werth Family Foundation three-year gift of $50,000 each year will benefit the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA). This multi-year commitment will allow the Museum to address the cost of conserving key pieces of the $11 million collection. These costs must be covered by private contributions. It will also ensure the continuation of the Peer Docent Program and will provide the opportunity to plan a schedule of special exhibits.

The Woodbridge-based Werth Family Foundation was established in 2000 and has previously donated funds to the HMA for special exhibitions, for an inventory and conservation assessment of the collection, and for the docent outreach program. Deborah Bachard, daughter of Peter Werth and member of the Werth Family Foundation Board, brought HMA and its programs to the attention of the Werth Family Foundation as a worthy recipient of support.

The Werth Family Foundation supports educational, cultural and medical-related causes throughout Connecticut and in Asia where the Chemwerth USA company has a branch. Peter J. Werth is president and founder of the company.

The Peer Docent Program, a beneficiary of the Werth gift, is an after-school program

that introduces middle and high school students to art and art history, teaches them how to look at art critically and ultimately equips them with the visual and analytical skills that will assist them in all areas of study. In addition to learning the specifics of the HMA collection, students visit museums throughout the state. At the end of the program, the students share what they have learned with their classmates who come to Housatonic for art tours given by the docents.

The Housatonic Community College Foundation was formed in 1990 to assist the College and its students beyond the fundamentals provided by the state. The Foundation provides resources for scholarships, equipment, program enhancements, community outreach and support for the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Robbin Zella, director of the Housatonic Museum of Art, says, “We are thrilled with this generous donation from the Werth Family Foundation. It allows us to continue the important work of the Museum and to expose our area’s young people to the best in art. The HMA belongs to everyone in Connecticut and it is wonderful that the Werth Family Foundation has taken a major role in providing us with the resources to keep the Museum vital and available to everyone.”