Issue #9. September 2015.

A Message from the President


Where has the time gone? In October, the Q. Walter Peabody Foundation will celebrate its 10th anniversary! Over the past decade, the Foundation has sponsored many great occasions from our summer concerts to family-friendly restaurant events, received the support of hundreds of members of the community and, of course, awarded thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships to deserving students.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Peabody Foundation awarding the Zachary Weston Memorial Scholarship. I would like to congratulate this yearís winner, Daniel Cajigas! Danielís modesty, maturity, and genuine kindness were striking. You can read more about this impressive young man in this newsletter. I would also like to congratulate this yearís recipients of the Q. Walter Peabody Foundation Fine Arts Grant - Richard Verdin and Crysta Spitzfaden. We have now given four Peabody Fine Arts grants and are excited to continue to grow this program with your support.

I also would like to thank Martha-Anne Noonan for her service on the Board of Directors. Martha-Anne has been instrumental in serving as a liaison between the Foundation and the Meriden school district and has brought new, thoughtful ideas to each of our scholarship and event initiatives. While she is stepping down from our board, she remains a supporter of the Foundation and a good friend. We look forward to seeing her at future Peabody events.

Thank you for your continued support,
Luciano Racco

We were pleased to have many applicants this round for our Fine Arts Grant this past spring. After interviewing several worthy students, we decided to offer $250 each to two students, both from Maloney High School. Congratulations to Richard Verdin and Crysta Spitzfaden on being our winners! Richard will use the grant to buy a new lens and tripod for his photography hobby. Crysta will use the grant to purchase animation software so she can continue to study anime/manga art in college. Both applicants impressed us with their passion for the arts and their interest in using their skills to further their careers and give back to the community.

Check out our Facebook page to see more examples of Richard and Crysta's work!

(Drawing by Crysta Spitzfaden)

(Photo by Richard Verdin)

Congratulations to Daniel Cajigas, the winner of the 2015 Zachary Weston Memorial Scholarship! With 12 nominees this year, Daniel stood out from his peers because of his kindness and humility. When discussing his definition of "kindness," Daniel talked about treating people of all abilities as equals, recognizing each individual's talents and strengths. Daniel participated in the Platt Builds program, which allows students an opportunity to apply classroom skills to real world experience. In his case, Daniel assisted in the ongoing renovation of Platt High School. Daniel will be attending Western New England University to study Sports Management and/or Engineering.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Peabody Foundation distributing the $1,000 ZWMS award to a graduating Platt student. Best wishes to Daniel and all nominees and recipients - past and present!

Past ZWMS Recipients:

Emily James (2006)
Rene Nieves (2006)
Michael Douglas (2006)
Carmelina Privitera (2007)
Zachary Corey (2008)
Damian Roesler (2009)
Gabriel Pagan (2010)
Melanie Blain (2011)
Envy Stone (2012)
Abigail Rudnicki (2013)
Michaela Phonkhoumphon (2014)
Daniel Cajigas (2015)

The Q. Walter Peabody Foundation hosted two dinner events this past year - our annual fundraisers at Westbrook Lobster in Wallingford (September 2014) and Avanti Restaurant in Meriden (March 2015). The two events raised over $1,200.00 for the Foundation. Once again, thank you to all those who dined and donated at these events. For those paying attention to their calendars, we are not hosting a Westbrook event this fall and are instead planning new events for the future. More details to come!

CLICK HERE! has a new initiative where 0.5% of your purchase can be donated to a charity of your choice. Why not pick the Peabody Foundation? We are a small foundation and your purchases will make a big impact to students in Meriden, CT. Just bookmark the link below, or go to and choose the Q. Walter Peabody Foundation as your charity of choice, and part of your purchase will be sent to us!

For more information, please visit the Q. Walter Peabody Foundation at