NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – With more than 1 out of 5 kids been ages 13 and 18 report being bullied, local business owners and organizations have teamed up to make a difference. Nick Blue, a former student shares his experiences from being bullied to now taking an active role in preventing bullied.

“We did so much in the community, but we want to do more,” said Cynthia Clegg, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Middlesex County. “Kids like Nick are our future employees our future leaders so what can we do?” In 2009, a group of local business owners wanted to have a real and positive impact on our young people. Working with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, they established the Council of Business Partners Fund to develop and implement anti-bullying programs in our schools.

They also launched the Campaign for Bully-Free Communities in partnership with Rushford, the Connecticut Association of Schools, The First Tee of Connecticut, EMPOWER Leadership Sports, iCRV radio and Donny Marshall.

The aim is to increase awareness of the issues and expand the reach and impact of the program to all of Middlesex County and beyond. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to make every community a bully-free community with an emphasis during the month of October to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month.

Since its foundation, more than 9,000 kids have benefitted from it. Stand together for change and take the pledge to stand up to bullying and all-mean spirited behavior by heading to www.BullyFreeMiddlesexCountyCF.orgMore information:

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with charitably-minded, individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable giving funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making and multiple programs to address community needs.

Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has invested more than $4.7 million through 1,564 grants in support of the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.

The CFMC Council of Business Partners includes: John Sullivan of A&A Office Systems; Laura Pedersen of A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists; William, Susan and Shawn McCann of BEST Cleaners; Mauricio Salgar of the Black Seal Restaurant; Colin Burr of Brown & Brown of CT, Inc.; David Director of Connecticut Lighting Centers, Inc.; David Gilbert of Direct Energy; East Hampton Rotary Foundation, Inc.; William McMinn of Essex Printing/Events Magazines; St. Mary’s Church in Portland and Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown of the Interfaith Golf Open Tournament; Daniel Zimmerman of LiveKind; James Mahoney of Mahoney Sabol & Co., LLP; Marc Levin of Malloves Jewelers; Karen Beebe of M & J Bus Company; Paulson Training Programs, Inc.; Attorney Nancy Raczka; Theodore Rossi of The Rossi Group; David Shulman of Suburban Stationers, Inc.; and Elizabeth Shulman, LMFT.