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11/29/2023 08:30 AM

An-Ming Truxes: Part of the Community’s Foundation

An-Ming Truxes is the chair of the committee that reviews grant applications for the Westbrook Foundation. Photo courtesy of An-Ming Truxes

Annually, the Westbrook Foundation provides grants and scholarships to various nonprofits and institutions in Westbrook. As a member of the foundation’s board, An-Ming Truxes is one of the people who helps decide where that relief is spent.

After she retired in 2016, An-Ming was looking for something to do to give back.

“I really didn’t have time to volunteer as much before I retired, and once I did, I realized the Westbrook Foundation was the perfect opportunity for me,” An-Ming says.

In fact, it was personal in a way.

“Having lived in Westbrook so many years, I wanted to give back, and our kids benefited from scholarships from the Westbrook Foundation,” An-Ming says.

Per its mission statement, “The purpose of the Westbrook Foundation, Inc., is to receive and administer funds and other property to help meet the medical and educational, social, welfare, cultural, recreational, and civic needs of the citizens of the town of Westbrook, Connecticut.”

An-Ming says this is done through providing grants and scholarships to people who need them. An-Ming has been on the foundation’s board since 2017, and since 2020, she’s been the chair of the committee that reviews grant applications.

“It’s really a great foundation; not every town has its own foundation like this,” An-Ming says.

Earlier this month, the foundation announced the organizations and projects that received fall grants are the Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Inc., Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, supporting the town’s first public art mural, Westbrook Congregational Church, and Westbrook Little League.

“We’re really proud to always support critical needs like the soup kitchen, and we’ve always been involved with Little League because it’s a great organization that’s accessible to everyone who wants to participate,” An-Ming says.

However, those are just a small sampling of the kinds of organizations the foundation aims to support.

“We also like organizations that offer opportunities to people of different abilities,” An-Ming adds.

Currently, the foundation is receiving applications for the next round of scholarships and grant money.

“I really encourage anyone who has a nonprofit or program to apply.”

Per a press release, “The next grant application deadline is April 1, 2024. Eligible organizations are invited to apply via the foundation’s online Grant Portal."

Before her retirement, An-Ming worked for many years in positions supporting the arts.

“Even when I was working, I was still volunteering sometimes, but not as much as when I retired,” An-Ming says. “Giving back and working together to solve problems is important. I get to work with a lot of great people on the board at the Westbrook Foundation,” An-Ming says. Besides the foundation, An-Ming also serves on the board of the Alumni Association of Connecticut College and on the board of governors of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington.

An-Ming’s journey to Westbrook is a bit different than most. She grew up in Saigon in a family of Chinese expatriates. When war broke out, her family decided it was best to come to America for school.

“I came here in high school and went to a boarding school in Massachusetts,” she says.

An-Ming moved to Westbrook in 1980 with her husband.

“It’s a small and wonderful town to raise a family in. There’s a great opportunity for kids that I don’t know if people get in larger towns,” An-Ming says.

In her spare time, An-Ming likes spending time with her grandkids and gardening.

Asked her favorite aspect of Westbrook An-Ming points to the way that people in the town come together for what’s best for the community.

“It’s a small town that has a lot of committed individuals who really are interested in working together to solve problems. It’s a great place to live,” says An-Ming.