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2017 Grants


The David E. Retik and Christopher D. Mello Foundation has been created to provide a permanent legacy in honor of our lost friends and colleagues. Dave and Chris can never be replaced. However, through our need for a compassionate and collective purpose, we are able to perpetuate the love, generosity, and energy of two talented young men.

The Retik Mello Foundation has a range of philanthropic interests and makes grants only to nonprofit charitable organizations that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

In 2017, we made grants totaling $185,000 to the following organizations:

kid-with-fishBig Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, MA

Since its inception, The David E. Retik Christopher D. Mello Foundation's support of our programs has extended far beyond financial generosity. We have been moved to tears and called to collective action by Susan Retik's inspiring words.

Sammy-and-Naytelli,-age-4,-in-the-Childcare-Resouces-Education-Center-preschool-classroomChildcare Resources of Indian River, Vero Beach, FL

The David E. Retik Christopher D. Mello Foundation will have an immediate impact on the lives of young children in Indian River County, Florida. All children deserve quality early learning opportunities, regardless of their families' limitations. Support from the Foundation has helped pave the way for bright futures.

horizons-for-homeless-childrenHorizons for Homeless Children

Dedicated exclusively to serving young homeless children and their families, Horizons for Homeless Children touches the lives of more than 2,200 young homeless children each week in Massachusetts.

Horizons helps children learn how to play, to share, to read, and to enjoy exploring their worlds. They help parents learn how to be nurturing and involved in the growth and development of their children, and help them learn and grow through job training, GED and college courses. They help to stabilize families so that they can weather any crisis, and thus help to break the cycle of homelessness that too often occurs.

Year_Up_graduation_2_1_11_DSC_7010Year Up

Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

rcma-ShyRedlands Christian Migrant Association

RCMA opens doors to opportunities through quality child care and education from crib to high school and beyond preparing rural low-income children for leadership in an increasingly diverse and complex world.


The Rye YMCA is a family-oriented community service organization which welcomes all people and promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind, and body. The Fitness Center at the Rye YMCA is named in memory of Christopher D Mello.

Colgate University

Funding to Colgate University is in support of The David E. Retik Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is an endowed scholarship of Colgate University.

Needham Education FoundationNeedham Education Foundation

The Needham Education Foundation is an independent community-based organization that raises funds for the enrichment of public school children in Needham, Mass. The foundation seeks out and funds programs that are beyond normal and expected public funding. They fund leading-edge projects in math and science, languages and the arts, emerging technologies, social development and more. At a time when public funds are scarce and resources are increasingly limited, NEF's grants for innovation provide an important outlet for teachers, parents and students to learn, experiment, and improve.

Roxbury-Weston2Roxbury-Weston Programs

Roxbury Weston Programs has a long history of being progressive. In 1965 an integrated summer camp inspired by the civil rights movement was established followed by a new preschool the next year, thereby creating the state's first voluntarily desegregated education program.

Today Roxbury Weston Programs is the longest running voluntary desegregation education program in the country.

Summer_SearchSummer Search

Summer Search Boston provides low-income high school students with mentoring, summer experiences, and college advising, so they gain the skills to succeed in college and dramatically improve their life prospects.

This_is_my_mom_going_up_to_heaven-The-Choldrens-roomThe Children's Room

The Children's Room provides support for grieving children, teens and families free of charge. It is the largest independent non-profit in Massachusetts dedicated to supporting families who have suffered early loss.

Pine Street Inn Pine Street Inn

Everyone deserves a place to call home. That's why Pine Street Inn provides a comprehensive range of services, including permanent supportive housing, job training and placement, emergency shelter and street outreach to more than 1,600 homeless men and women each day. Founded in 1969, Pine Street is the largest resource for homeless men and women in New England.


Ballet Rox       

BalletRox runs in-school and after-school dance programs at Boston Public School sites throughout the city. These year-long programs provide arts-integrated dance curriculum to nearly 1000 BPS students each year.

Higher Edge 

Higher Edge was founded in 2011 with the belief that more low-income and first-generation students would make it to college if they had access to consistent support and resources. After five years, Higher Edge is achieving real victories for the young people of Eastern Connecticut. Through two, results driven-programs, more low-income students and enrolling, succeeding, and graduating from college.

Scholarship America

Scholarship America's mission is to mobilize America, through scholarships and educational support, to make postsecondary success possible for all students. We do this through core programs and businesses that support students in their education journey.

Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport

Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport, Inc. (MLC) provides basic literacy and life skills training to low-income women using a holistic approach within a compassionate, supportive environment. MLC was founded in 1987 on the premise that one of the best ways to help entire families overcome poverty and succeed is to educate women and mothers. Rooted in this multigenerational approach, the motto of Mercy Learning Center is “Educate a woman… Educate a family.” Since its founding, MLC has educated and empowered over 10,000 women.



Tenacity is grateful to The David E. Retik and Christopher D. Mello Foundation for their support in helping Tenacity narrow the opportunity and achievement gaps for underserved Boston students. Tenacity’s programs  provide a Pathway to Post-Secondary Success through a combination of academic enrichment, mentoring, family engagement, and tennis/fitness coaching which together improve educational outcomes for students, increase graduation rates, and help transform the lives of less advantaged Boston youth.

Title IX Girls, Cambridge 

Provides a safe place for girls to learn how to use words and not violence to get their needs met, determine safe and unsafe situations, get support and avoid isolation, understand emotions and cope, respond and not act impulsively. Naturally. Women coach girls ages 9 to 15, families have access to educational information, resources and referrals for adjunct psychological services and scholarships are available to girls who receive free lunch at school.


Community Servings 

Community Servings is a food and nutrition program providing services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Community Servings gives their clients, their dependent families, and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, and sends the message to those in greatest need that someone cares.  oundation, Rosie’s Place will continue to be there for more than 12,000 women each year.


Rosie's Place  

For 42 years, Rosie’s Place has been a place where welcome and help are offered unconditionally. A sanctuary offering meals, groceries, shelter and showers. A steppingstone offering women free ESOL classes and assistance finding employment and housing. A connection to women in the community who have not yet accessed our vital services. With the support of the Retik Mello Foundation, Rosie’s Place will continue to be there for more than 12,000 women each year.