MAPLEWOOD, NJ - In an open letter to the community, Tom Kerns has announced that the HK Project, a local organization that helps those in need, will be dissolved. At the time of this writing, Kerns could not be reached for comment. His letter, in its entirety, follows:
The HK Project has worked hard to realize our mission of creating a sense of belonging by staying true to our tag line: "Engaging Community."
We are enormously proud that over the past four years we have supported people in need; provided educational extra-curricular and volunteer opportunities for our youth; and supported initiatives in philanthropy, the arts, education, youth programs, and the environment. We truly believe that these accomplishments will have a long-term impact on our community. Despite our success at realizing our mission, we have decided to wind down the operations of HK Project and will dissolve the organization by the end of the year.
A recap of our accomplishments include:
Coordinating hundreds of community service hours annually for community youth
Raising over $300,000 from the community to help local families in crisis
Hosting numerous educational seminars for youth, including photography, financial literacy, SAT prep, and other programs
Supporting top-notch cultural entertainment through Studio B
Awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors for excellence in community service or softball totaling an amount close to $30,000
Funding the launch of both the Maplewood and South Orange Community Gardens
Providing and managing funds for need-based awards for recreational activities for South Orange families
Raising and managing funds for need-based awards for summer camp for community children
Lead sponsor of Maplewoodstock since 2009
Primary sponsor of Rent Party since its inception in 2009
Sponsoring and supporting community initiatives and programs including Green Recoverings, Green Day, Midnight Madness, Columbia High School Boosters, Maplewood Library, the Achieve Foundation, and more
It has been an honor to serve the community of Maplewood/South Orange. We have been moved by our community’s generosity and eager participation. Without your participation and generosity, HK Project would not have been possible.
We are confident that you will join us in remaining actively engaged in our community. We trust that you will continue to support the initiatives that will go on even as HK Project closes, such as Studio B, which will continue with its mission of providing creative, fun and high quality cultural arts productions.
From my heart, and on behalf of the entire HK Project staff, thank you.
Founder and President of HK Project