Three "butterflies" at the Butterfly Ball in April 2017. File photo: Courtney Blasl

The Buterfly Effect Project has been selected as a finalist in a contest to win a $25,000 grant from State Farm Insurance.

BEP is one of 200 finalists selected by the State Farm Neighborhood Assist review committee. The finalists were selected from 2,000 submissions, according to a press release issued by BEP.

Winners are determined by online voting. The top 40 vote-getters will each receive a $25,000 grant.

The grant program is administered through the company’s “Neighborhood Assist” program.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods. The State Farm Review Committee selected the top 200 finalists from 2,000 submissions.

Online voting begins Aug. 15 and will continue to Aug. 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. People must be 18 and older and have a valid email address to vote for their favorite cause at

Participants can vote up to 10 times per day.

The Butterfly Effect Project is a nonprofit, community-oriented organization started by Tijuana Fulford.

“Tijuana’s goal was to start a totally free program that would empower young girls by giving them the tools to assist in achieving emotionally stable and self confident futures, in hopes of bringing forth a generation of women who are strong, independent and knowledgeable,” the organization said in a press release. “The Butterfly Effect Project aspires to ensure that every girl enrolled in the program has a fair chance to broaden their horizons by eliminating obstacles such as mobility, cultural differences and finances.”

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.