Programs of Service
The Madison Exchange Club's programs of service are Americanism, Community Service, Youth Projects and Child Abuse Prevention. All our fundraising and volunteer efforts go into supporting each of these four areas. Please take time to read about each of our programs in the descriptions below. Links are provided where more information is available.
Since 1979, the Exchange Club of Madison puts in countless volunteer hours to organize and fund our signature event, the Exchange Independence Day Parade in downtown Madison. The cost of this annual event - over $5000 - is paid for by the Madison Exchange Club as our gift to the community. Thousands of people line the Boston Post Road to watch local dignitaries, floats, bands and many other performers at this very popular event. The planning and choreography of putting on the parade relies on the enthusiasm and dedication of our members. Consider joining Exchange to help us continue to put on a great event.
Our Freedom Shrine program is designed to remind Americans that the freedom and greatness we enjoy today were not purchased easily and that these gifts must be cherished and protected. Each Freedom Shrine is a collection of photographic reproductions of original documents from American history. The Exchange Club of Madison has installed nine Freedom Shrines locally which can be seen at Town Campus, Memorial Town Hall, Academy Elementary School, Brown Middle School, Polson Upper Middle School, Hand High School, Our Lady of Mercy School, Adams Middle School in Guilford, and St. Rita School in Hamden.
Throughout the year, the Exchange Club of Madison participates in many small projects that benefit the shoreline community such as Read Aloud, Madison Community Services, Food Pantry, Bikes for Kids, M.A.D.E, Safe Rides, Odyssey of the Mind, and Eagle Scouts. Our annual events include the Leprechaun Run along the Long Island Sound, Easter Egg Hunt at the Surf Club, the Antique Show on the Green, and Culinary Arts Night showcasing local businesses, restaurants, package stores and Madison Arts Cinema. Each year, we honor a local fireman and policeman for outstanding service with our Salute to the Bravest and Salute to the Finest programs in conjunction with other Exchange Clubs in Connecticut. These men and women and their families are treated to a grand award presentation and recognition dinner at the Aquaturf in Southington in the Fall and Spring. You can find details about each of these events and their upcoming dates in our Calendar.
Our Youth of the Month/Year Awards recognize hard-working DHHS seniors who attain high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership. This proven program not only rewards outstanding young people, but also provides an incentive for other youngsters to strive for equally high levels of achievement. Each month from January till graduation, we select one student who has shown academic and personal excellence as our Youth of the Month. Our winners and their parents are invited to dinner where we present them a commemorative plaque and a check for $200. These students go on to vie for the Madison Exchange Club Youth of the Year, the Connecticut Youth of the Year and ultimately, the prestigious National Exchange Club Youth of the Year Award. In addition, the Exchange Club of Madison gives out the following annual awards:
Note: Monetary amounts are subject to change. Contact us for current amounts.
A.C.E. Award $1000 Est. 2002 - A.C.E. stands for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence. This award is given by the Madison Exchange Club to a senior student who has overcome physical, personal, or emotional issues during their high school experience. This individual has excelled in their ability to overcome their issues and graduate from high school. The A.C.E. Award winner may be submitted to the district competition. Winners at the district level have an opportunity to compete for the National A.C.E. Award.
Wally Cataldo Achievement Award $1000 Est. 1981 - Named in memory of former Madison Exchange Club member, Wally Cataldo whose child was in the special education program, this award is given to a student who has excelled in the special education program at DHHS and will pursue higher education after graduation.
David Bell Youth of the Month/Year Award $300/$1500 Est. 1974 - Awards six Youth of the Months and one Youth of the Year which qualifies for the Connecticut District Exchange Club Youth of the Year Award.
Evarts Janssen Memorial Scholarship $500 Est. 2000 - Awarded in memory of two charter members, Sid Evarts and John Janssen, this is given to a deserving member of the senior class who intends to pursue a career in environmental farming, agriculture or forestry.
Sam Anderson Memorial Scholarship $500 Est. 1994 - Awarded in memory of Sam Anderson to a deserving member of the graduating class who is not college bound, and will be pursuing an education at a two-year college, vocational school or technical school.
Dunnith R. Heenan III Memorial Scholarship $500 Est. 1994 - This scholarship was established to honor Dunnith Heenan III, a 1991 graduate of DHHS. He died at the age of 20 in November 1993 when he was a passenger in a car which was hit by a drunk driver. This scholarship is awarded to a member of the senior class who, by example, demonstrates the qualities of integrity, sincerity and personal concern for humanity and the environment.
Dick Gould American Legion Boys and Girls State $1000 Est. 1970 - Started by past president Dick Gould, this scholarship helps pay for the American Legion's premier government program. Select members of the high school junior class are funded to take part in a practical government course to develop a working knowledge of the structure of government while developing leadership skills and learning about their rights as a citizen.
Visit our Youth Projects page to see pictures and read about our recent winners.
Child Abuse Prevention
Child abuse can include any behavior, action or omission by an adult that causes or allows harm to come to a child. That can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect. Individual states and other government agencies have specific legal definitions that are used to substantiate reports of alleged maltreatment. Additionally, Exchange works to prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Madison Exchange makes a difference. There are many types of prevention programs across the country. Research has shown that effective programs share similar elements, such as working with families early and on a long-term, intensive basis. Effective programs offer assistance with family problems, refer families to outside supports when needed, and have a structured framework for staff in working with families. These elements are found in the National Exchange Club Foundation’s Parent Aide home visitation program model. The Parent Aide Program is the signature program of NECF and is offered at all of the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Centers across the country. You can get more information about forms of child abuse, child abuse prevention and the Exchange Club Centers for Child Abuse Prevention at http://preventchildabuse.com. We support several organizations to help break the cycle of child abuse with fundraisers and direct donations for programs such as Parent Aide, Nurturing Families Network, and Exchange Club Centers for Child Abuse Prevention here in Connecticut . For more information about those specific programs and services contact them below:
Family Advocacy Program @ Middlesex Hospital
8 Crescent Street Middletown, CT 06457
Parent and Child Center @ Bristol Hospital
9 Prospect Street Bristol, CT 06010
860.585.3481 FAX: 860.585.3954
19 Elm Street Rockville, CT 06066
860.872.1918 FAX: 860.872.8066
Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center
141 Franklin Street Stamford, CT 06901
203.327.9419 FAX: 203.359.8677
Wellmore Behavioral Health Child & Adolescent Services
Nurturing Families Network
70 Pine St. Waterbury, CT 06710
203.756.7287 FAX: 203.575-1817
Visit our Child Abuse Prevention page for more about our local activities and see pictures of the CAP centers.