Community Supports Summer Program at The Chase Home

Pictured, from left, Renee Capicchioni Vannata, Owner of Monkey Mind Escape Rooms and Meme Wheeler, Executive Director of The Chase Home. 

PORTSMOUTH — In late July, an anticipated funding shortage jeopardized the summer program at The Chase Home, which staff say did not “miss a beat” thanks to community support.

“We had community members make financial contributions and local businesses stepped up, too, including Tuscan Market,” said Meme Wheeler, executive director at The Chase Home. 

“The program’s main funder was also able to contribute as well when we did not thank that would be the case at all,” she added.

Designed for youth who live at The Chase Home, Wheeler said the summer program is important for several reasons.

“These kids need to have fun, experience the world, build bonds with each other and the community around them,” she said. “This program does that for them.”

This year’s summer program also received unexpected contributions from local businesses that provided in-kind support. One such business was Monkey Mind Escape Rooms, which provided an experience at no charge for The Chase Home youth.

“The girls experienced our Stolen Diamond room and the boys were in our Cursed Tomb room,” said Owner Renee Capicchioni Vannata, who playfully described herself as “Chief Executive Monkey. “We hope to host them again.”

For Wheeler, such support “goes a long way” toward helping their youth “feel connected.”

“For all those who supported our summer program, I hope you can accept our deepest thanks,” she said. “Our kids had a great summer, and the larger Seacoast community is a big reason why.”

Founded in 1877, The Chase Home serves nearly 300 at-risk youth and families annually statewide through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs.

To learn more about The Chase Home, visit

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