Wheeler Honors Donors, Philanthropists, Organizational Leaders, for Their Generosity and Leadership

Four organizations and several individuals were recognized by Wheeler today for outstanding support of its mission at the organization’s 12th Annual Hands & Hearts event, held virtually.

This event honors individuals and families, corporations, and foundations for helping Wheeler to provide equitable access to innovative care that improves health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Wheeler has recognized more than 75 philanthropists since the inception of this event.

 The 2022 Hands & Hearts Appreciation Award recipients are:

Access Health CT
Access Health CT provides state residents, including thousands of Wheeler patients, with health care through HUSKY Health Programs (Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program) and more. Access Health CT partners with Wheeler every day, but also philanthropically through support of Wheeler’s Basic Needs Fund and leadership sponsorship of the organization’s Golf Classic. Access Health CT Small Business joined the event first in 2021 as the Golf Ball Sponsor and expanded its support as Lunch Sponsor for the event this year.

Barnes Group Foundation
The Barnes Group and Barnes Group Foundation share a 50+-history with Wheeler. In January 1968, Bonnie Barnes became the secretary of the first Board of Trustees of Wheeler  and offered considerable pro bono legal work to help establish the organization from the estate of Bertha Wheeler. Since then, Tom Barnes, the Barnes family, and the Barnes Group Foundation have been an integral part of Wheeler services and growth, playing invaluable roles as advisors, supporters, leaders, and friends.

Most recently, in the summer 2021, as Wheeler finalized plans to build a community health center at One Hope Street in Centre Square in downtown Bristol, Tom and the Barnes Group Foundation became the project’s lead donor, committing a $100,000 pledge toward the $500,000 campaign goal. This contribution helped spur community support for the vision in Bristol.

Connecticut State Management Advisory Council
MAC comprises 1,200 non-union state managers, across every state department. Each year, the group chooses a philanthropic priority to support, and the 2022 focus is mental health, with Wheeler selected as the final charity of choice. Since the campaign launched, MAC members have individually supported Wheeler’s Basic Needs Fund, as well as its Northwest Village School scholarship fund, LGBTQIA+ service track “Walk With Me,” program, and more.

This past summer and fall, the Production Operations team of ESPN worked with Together We Rise, a national non-profit organization, to do something kind for local youth in foster care. The team assembled and donated 60 skateboards, as well as helmets, and decorated bags containing items of comfort for children in Wheeler’s foster care program. Foster care is a priority area for Disney and ESPN.

Jim and Janet Moylan
Jim Moylan served on Wheeler’s Board of Trustees for nearly a decade and was board chair for the past three. Jim possesses a deep knowledge in health care, and for 30 years, served in financial leadership positions in hospitals across Connecticut.

Jim is a champion of operations and quality, as well as board growth and diversity. He has shaped Wheeler in ways that will be felt for decades to come. Most recently, Jim and his wife, Janet, made the lead gift in the Board of Trustees’ $100,000 goal for the Bristol community health center campaign. They also have supported Wheeler’s Golf Classic at a leadership level for many years.

Wheeler's Campaign for Bristol donors - group recognition
Wheeler is grateful for the support of its historic community health center project at One Hope Street, Bristol, and contributions to its $500,000 capital campaign—now at 86 % of the goal—from:

  • Tom Barnes and the Barnes Group Foundation (details above in story).
  •  The Estate of Cap Adams, a longtime friend of Wheeler, who designated $50,000 for the campaign.
  • The Brantner and Corsini Families, whose passion for Wheeler’s nutrition programming will help support a second Corsini Teaching Kitchen at One Hope Street, similar to the first Corsini Kitchen they support in our Hartford Family Health & Wellness Center. Both kitchens are in the memory of Ray Corsini, Wheeler’s longest-serving trustee and a passionate advocate for healthy food.
  • The Wheeler Board of Trustees, who established and quickly met a $100,000 campaign goal with 100% participation.
  • Wheeler’s Senior and Executive Leadership Teams, who established and will soon surpass an $80,000 campaign goal.
  • All past trustees, who have stepped up and see, understand, and support the organization’s vision.
  • Voya staff who support Wheeler and its vision through an innovative employee giving campaign.
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