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The Lightbridge Foundation® Surpasses $1 Million Mark in Dollars Raised

The philanthropic arm of the leading early education and child care franchise has supported parents and children along life's journey for over 20 years.

ISELIN, NJ – The Lightbridge Foundation®, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization associated with the early education and child care franchise Lightbridge Academy®, has officially surpassed $1 million in dollars raised as it continues its mission to support children and working parents in the communities it serves and beyond. 

“This is a very exciting time for both the foundation and Lightbridge Academy,” said Lightbridge Foundation’s Executive Director Audrey Feci. “The company has been growing rapidly over the past year, and as we open more centers, we are able to raise more money for the Lightbridge Foundation. This allows us to expand our support of those in our Circle of Care.”

Established in 2001 by the brand’s founder Guy Falzarano, the Lightbridge Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting working parents and children along life's journey. Its work is central to the core beliefs of all Lightbridge family members — meeting the needs of all parents and children is a natural extension of the Circle of Care philosophy, which inspires everything Lightbridge does as a company. 

“We’re so proud to have been able to surpass this $1 million mark right before Guy retired as it highlights his incredible dedication to giving back through the foundation,” said Lightbridge Academy CEO Gigi Schweikert. “The Lightbridge Foundation enables us to support those children and families going through a difficult time in their life, whether it is a child suffering from an illness, a family devastated by a fire or a community recovering from a natural disaster. When a Lightbridge Academy opens up in an area, it is our honor and privilege to give back to the community. We realize that the well-being of our educators, parents, children and even our vendors contribute to the strength of our communities, enriching our lives in countless ways. Instead of focusing on a single cause, our foundation provides a wide range of services to people in our Circle of Care.”

And as the foundation grows, Feci notes that its ability to give back has also expanded. “We were primarily giving out scholarships and grants to students in the past, but now we’ve been able to expand our philanthropic efforts to larger causes as well,” she said.

For example, in April of this year, the Lightbridge Foundation pledged $30,000 through the local efforts of its 63 centers to support the children and families of Ukraine. After the Uvalde shooting in Texas, the foundation donated $5,000 to an organization helping the victims’ families, and the centers also supported organizations on a local level. The foundation also has a partnership with the Spread the Joy non-profit to bring Joy Boxes to hospitalized children. 

Looking ahead, Feci says the Lightbridge Foundation will continue to grow its college scholarship programs in new markets while expanding its partnerships with other charitable organizations. Lightbridge Academy has also integrated the Kindness Curriculum, which incorporates the foundation's values and educates young children on the joys of giving back. 

“Our centers do an amazing job at raising funds in ways that are fun for the staff and the children, whether it is an art show where parents can purchase children’s artwork or a dunk tank to dunk their favorite teachers,” said Feci. “These are really teachable moments for our children, and it is so rewarding to come together to give back through the Lightbridge Foundation.”

Overall, while the $1 million mark is a major milestone for the Lightbridge Foundation, Schweikert says it's the people behind the contributions that make this such an exciting moment for the entire Lightbridge family. 

“Even more than the money, this is about the people of the Lightbridge Foundation,” said Schweikert. “Their smiles, their time, their kindness, their dedication to helping others. What is so amazing is to realize that the $1 million came from a series of 50-cent lemonades, $5 artworks, $2 muffins — all those small gestures and that hard work has added up, and we couldn’t be more proud.”

About Lightbridge Academy: 

Established in 1997, the company was founded as a family business based on core values and a Circle of Care philosophy that places equal importance on the needs of children, their families, teachers, center owners and the community. Lightbridge Academy provides quality early education and child care programs to children aged six weeks through kindergarten. The company currently has over 140 child care centers either open or in development throughout Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In response to COVID-19, Lightbridge Academy launched The Lightbridge Promise as the Gold Standard for health & safety in the child care industry. In 2020, the company was featured on the Inc. 5000 ranking, Franchise Times Top 200+ awards, and on Newsweek’s 2021 list of America’s Best Customer Service. In 2022, Lightbridge Academy was featured for the 7th year on Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 and for the 2nd year on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies.

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