The Charles Lafitte Foundation, a philanthropic organization run by Jeffrey Citron, and his wife, Suzanne, announced today donations to Project Safe Place, Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, Inc., and Young Audiences of New Jersey. The three programs, located in New Jersey, promote children’s advocacy, education, and the arts, issues central to the mission of The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF).
“One of the primary goals of The Charles Lafitte Foundation is to improve the quality of life for children by giving them access to multiple resources and enriching education,” said Jeffrey Citron, co-founder and board member, Charles Lafitte Foundation. “All three of the organizations that we’re working with this month offer superior programs in keeping with our own goals, and I’m especially thrilled about assisting groups so close to home.”
The Charles Lafitte Foundation donated $10,000 to support the Safe Place located in Northfield, NJ. Founded in 1983 by the YMCA, Project Safe Place is a shelter outreach program for at risk youth. Over 500 communities across the country implemented the nationally acclaimed program, benefiting thousands of youths. CLF gave grants of $5,000 each to Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, and Young Audiences of New Jersey to support the effort made by both organizations to promote and provide art education. Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, located in the nation’s second poorest city, Camden, NJ, strives to improve quality of life for local children and promote economic and social progress via art. Annually serving 13,000-16,000 children, the Center puts on programs, largely supported by charitable contributions, ranging from theatrical presentations to workshops for young artists. Young Audiences of New Jersey is the area’s leading arts-in-education organization, recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The group provides performances, workshops, and residencies for school children, and professional development for educators.
CLF also made recent gifts to Powerful Voices, a Seattle-based organization, and LD Online, a resource for medical, legal and therapeutic information on learning disabilities. Powerful Voices addresses issues affecting young women, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, and drug abuse, through after school programs in public middle schools and juvenile detention centers in Seattle. LD Online, founded in 1996, provides a safe and helpful environment for people to ask questions and share their experiences regarding learning disabilities.
About The Charles Lafitte Foundation:
The Charles Lafitte Foundation is a private philanthropic organization founded by Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron. A multifaceted, multi-purposed organization comprised of four distinct project areas, CLF strives to affect innovative change in the areas of education, children’s advocacy, medical research and the arts. Contributions range from single donations to on-going project funding and volunteer work. Grant proposals may be submitted via the organization’s web site, www.charleslafitte.org. Preference is given to proposals and programs that foster significant change for many individuals.
About Jeffrey Citron:
Jeffrey Citron is a technology pioneer and visionary who transformed the financial services industry. As Chairman and CEO of Vonage, Mr. Citron aims to redefine yet another industry — telecommunications.
Some of the more revolutionary financial services developments over the past decade were spearheaded by Mr. Citron. In 1995, Mr. Citron founded The Island ECN, a computerized trading system designed to eliminate the problems associated with order execution. The Island ECN was recently acquired by Instinet Group for $503 million dollars. Today, the newly merged company is one of the largest global financial exchanges, and is responsible for more than one in four NASDAQ trades.
Following on the success of The Island ECN, Mr. Citron founded and became the Chairman and CEO of Datek Online Holdings Corp. as Datek transitioned into the online brokerage industry. Under his leadership, Datek had grown to become the fourth largest online brokerage in the US, and was recently acquired by Ameritrade Holdings for $1.3 billion dollars. The newly merged company, with nearly 3 million customers, is now the second largest online financial services firm behind the Charles Schwab Company. Mr. Citron departed Datek in 1999 and, recognizing a similar opportunity, founded Vonage.
Apart from his entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Citron is continually pursuing philanthropic initiatives. He currently serves on the board of the Montclair Art Museum and through his family foundation routinely funds medical research, supports the Arts and dedicates his time and resources to children’s charities.
For more information, contact:
Charles Lafitte Foundation
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