January 2022 Newsletter

January 2022 Newsletter

January 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2022 edition of the Daniels Foundation Newsletter. In this issue, we explore the following topics. Click on the links to read the articles!

Our Girls, COVID, and their Mental Health! As you all know the Daniels Foundation has spent the last 15 years developing and supporting a strategic focus on girls – age 10-14. Each year we grant approximately 25% of our total giving in support of a collaborative effort: the Investing in Girls Alliance.…  Click here to read more…

1915: An Immigrant’s Elegant Creation for a Worcester Matriarch! In 1915, Swedish immigrant Anna Boeikland Forsberg (1872-1968) made this dress for Eleanor Goddard Daniels (1889-1981)…  Click here to read more…

Spending the Day with George H. W. Bush! In late July of 1991, I received a phone call from John Morris asking if I would like to deliver a boat to then President George H. W. Bush and deliver it to his home in Kennebunkport… Click here to read more…

Project Bloom! At the December quarterly meeting, a grant of $5,000 was awarded to the Tower Hill Botanical Garden (THBG) in support of a new program, Project Bloom, an environmental education program for organizations that directly support youth with limited access to extracurricular STEAM education… Click here to read more…

Who is the Historian in Your Family? Do you have a box of old photos from your ancestors?  If you do, we want you! Click here to read more…

Our Girls, COVID, and their Mental Health

As you all know the Daniels Foundation has spent the last 15 years developing and supporting a strategic focus on girls – age 10-14. Each year we grant approximately 25% of our total giving in support of a collaborative effort: the Investing in Girls Alliance.

During the early months of COVID many students were at home learning virtually. The girls did not have the benefit of peer social interaction, so instead they found themselves online for many hours per day. Some of this was schoolwork and class time, but a lot of it was on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Even before COVID there were real warning signs for girls, at the middle school age in particular, about the emotional danger found on these platforms.

What our agency partners are telling us is that cries for emotional help have increased dramatically for students, especially middle school age girls. At the same time, they are finding that their staff is also completely overwhelmed; struggling to adapt to the COVID reality, under real stress themselves (like almost all other adults), and feeling inadequate and unskilled in their ability to help the girls in their programs who are seeking emotional support.

This year’s Strategic Grant, which is a 3 year grant for up to $225,000, is targeted at addressing this problem throughout the city. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with each other, and the focus of the application should address staff training and/or delivery of mental health support directly to the girls. The best application will address both!

What we envision is collaborative entity, perhaps with one of the larger partners, developing a curriculum which all youth workers (even those in multi-gender programs) can receiving training. We are not looking to make clinical assessments or referrals for girls in deep trouble. This grant is much more about learning how to present skills in mindfulness, stress reduction, realistic interpretations of social media messaging and more. If staff learns to be more aware and better skilled at connecting with girls who are stressed/anxious, the side benefit is that they also will be self-learning coping skills which can apply to their own lives and professional development.

The best application will impact the greatest number of staff and girls. Hopefully this will make a significant difference in what is being described as a mental health crisis for middle school age girls.

1915: An Immigrant’s Elegant Creation for a Worcester Matriarch

In 1915, Swedish immigrant Anna Boeikland Forsberg (1872-1968) made this dress for Eleanor Goddard Daniels (1889-1981). Like many women who migrated from Sweden to Worcester, Forsberg made her living as a dressmaker, operating her business out of her home on Linden Street. She made the dress in 1915, the same year that Goddard wed F. Harold Daniels. The dress exemplifies the fashions of the 1910s with its embellished pleating, couching, a beautifully weighted and hung flap to disguise the back opening, and multiple hooks and eyes and snaps to put all the pieces of the outfit together. Given the complexity of assembling the outfit, which would have included a corset, Daniels likely relied on paid household help—such as Norwegian immigrant Solvej Fredrikson, who worked as the family’s maid—to get dressed.

A few years later Daniels, with her daughter Eleanor and her mother, Georgia Watson Goddard, were depicted in a portrait by Mary Fairchild Low. Like the dress, the portrait of the three Goddard women was meant to reflect the sitters’ elegance and refinement, as well as the status of the Goddard and Daniels families among Worcester’s successful elites. Behind the scenes and hidden among the intricate seams, embellishments, and fastenings of elite women’s clothing lay the work of women, often immigrants, who created the clothing and enabled the refinements of wealthier women.


Dress: Silk with metal trim, glass pearls, and weights
Anna Forsberg (1872-1968), designer
Gift to the Worcester Historical Museum from Eleanor Daniels Bronson Hodge, 1981

Spending the Day with George H. W. Bush

By Tim Blake

When I was President of Marine USA in Worcester, I was on TRACKER MARINE’S National Dealer Council. About three times a year I flew out to Springfield, MO to meet with John Morris who founded Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine.

In late July of 1991, I received a phone call from John Morris asking if I would like to deliver a boat to then President George H. W. Bush and deliver it to his home in Kennebunkport.

Of course, I said yes. In August, my partner Paul Tsourides and I loaded up a Tracker Jon Boat, trailer, cover and trolling motor and left in my Blazer to pick up John Morris and head to the President’s home. We were supposed to be there at 11:00 AM.

On the way we heard on the radio that the President was going to have a news conference at 11:00. This was before cell phones, so we stopped and call our White House Contact. She hopped off the line to check with the President. She came back and said: “Deliver the boat to a place where it could not be seen, as it was a gift to his golf pro.” And then she said: “The President would like you to stay for lunch!”

We arrived at the Presidents driveway, and there were two cops challenging what we were doing there. I explained I was delivering a boat to the President. They took one look at the Jon boat and one cop turned to the other (in an unbelieving voice) and said, “They are delivering a boat to the President.” I told him to call, which he did, and to the cop’s surprise he was told let them in!!

So, in we went and brought the boat to the “hidden” area. Shortly thereafter, the President, Barbara Bush and their two dogs came to greet us. They loved the boat. The President then said to John, Paul and myself: “Let me show you around the place.” He took us around showed us his new horseshoe pits and the rocks he played on as a kid. He also said: “How about I take you out on my boat!”

I forgot prior to that I went in the front door of the house and saw Barbara standing in their large Den type room. She was by the fireplace. She also had a wooden jigsaw puzzle on a card table. Rather than ask permission I just took her photo!! No problem.

We headed down to the boat (a cigarette style boat that is now in his Presidential museum) which was tied up to a stone pier. It was the President, John Morris, me, Paul, a coast guard sailor, and a secret service agent. We put on life jackets. The President was at the controls and said to us: “Let me show you boys what this boat can do!”

I was in the bow with the Coast Guard sailor, John and Paul where next to the President and the secret service agent was by the stern. Despite this being just two days after hurricane Bob, the President took to the throttle and pushed it all the way down. The boat was probably doing around 50MPH as we headed out the peninsula. When we came to the open ocean, we were hitting the waves really hard. I was being bounced about 6” into the air standing in the bow, thinking I was going overboard. As I found out later, he loved doing this to people he took out!

The Coast guard had a special inflatable to follow him, as all the other boats were too slow! He took us over to see a beached whale and then headed toward the press boat full of photographers. He told he was going over so we “could wave to our Mother’s”.

It was near lunch time, so we started to head back down the peninsula. The Coast Guard Sailor told me to hang on (knowing the way the President docks the boat). Sure enough, 50MPH towards the dock, then a hard right turn and throttle back. We coasted perfectly into the dock.

We exited the boat and I forgot I still had my life jacket on. I walked next to the president and said, “I forgot to take my life jacket off.” He said give it to me which I did.

At the same time a man in white came out of the house and went up to the President and said: “We have Mr. Gorbachev on the line.”

This shot goosebumps up my arms as the Soviet Union at that time was in turmoil and the world did not know if Gorbachev was dead or alive, arrested or where he was. Paul and I were with the President when the free world for the first time knew he was alive.

The President then said to Paul and myself: “Come with me.” He took us to a side door and then into his bedroom. The room was all white including the phone. He went over to start talking. I turned to Paul and said: “We cannot be in the Presidents bedroom, let’s leave.”

We did, walked through the house to the Den where Barbara was. She was just finding out that Gorbachev was on the phone and went to be with her husband.

About 20 or 30 minutes later the President came out just beaming. He said: “We need to have a press conference.” Barbara said, “I’ll stay with the boys, and you go to the press conference.” The President then said: “No, I have a better idea. Let’s go to the kitchen, grab a cup of soup and all go together.” That what we did. We had tomato soup and walked with Barbara, the President and their two dogs to his office area. He went inside and we stayed with Barbara. I commented to her that she had on two different sneakers. She said, “I left one half of the pair at the White House and the other at Camp David.” We were outside and the President came out to announce he had talked to Gorbachev. A limited number of the Press Corp were allowed in. His national security advisor was also there. He finished the press conference and we all started walking back to the house. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pill case. He told me that he had to take these, but I cannot remember what for.

So, we went to the dining room and were served tuna salad and wine. Barbara did most of the talking. She discussed the decision to invade Iraq. She said her husband (she called him sweetie) could not sleep before making the decision as he was told we could lose up to 25,000 troops. With John Morris there the conversation turned to long line fishing.

As we were finishing the meal Jeb Bush’s kids were visiting and came down from the upstairs. We got to meet them all as they were headed off to bowl in town.

As the meal ended the President said: “Let’s go into the next room and turn on CNN so I can hear what the talking heads will be saying.”

It was at this time I said: “Did you know Bill Pettit at Andover?” He said: “Yes, but I think he was a class ahead of me.” I then said: “Yes, he told me you stayed back a year!” The President just smiled.

He invited us to walk around the golf course with him as he was headed that way to play. We had no film left (35MM in those days) so we opted not to. We went outside to say goodbye and I asked him: “I have a Time Magazine with you picture on the cover. Could you sign it?”

He said do you have a felt tip pen? I said no, and he said he would run into the house and get one, which he did. He also gave each of us a pen knife with his signature on one side and the Presidential shield on the other. He also gave us cufflink with the Seal on the outside and his initials on the inside! I forgot to add that he wrote Marine USA, our dealership, a check for the boat motor and trailer. We debated on what to do with the check but in the end deposited it.

That night, Paul and I were in the background of the news conference. Also, the press boat had taken photos of all of us. Their commentary was that The President was out fishing with friends when he heard about Gorbachev. Not quite right, but a better story.

About a month later I received a package from the White House. In it was a personal note from him to me thanking us for bringing the boat. Included were 10 White House photos, including one which he had personalized with a message. It was a photo of his boat and house and is said: “Dear Tim – let’s go fishing.” And another to Tim Blake saying: “With warm best wishes from Kennebunkport. Good luck!”

It was a once in a lifetime experience and my ten minutes of fame on the news – in other words, a Great Day!

Project Bloom

At the December quarterly meeting, a grant of $5,000 was awarded to the Tower Hill Botanical Garden (THBG) in support of a new program, Project Bloom, an environmental education program for organizations that directly support youth with limited access to extracurricular STEAM education. Working from a menu of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) programs, THBG’s Education Outreach Coordinator and partner organization staff will collaborate to develop four, two-hour programs for each youth group, including an optional event for families. The Worcester Refugee Assistance Project (WRAP), Latino Education Institute, Girls Inc, and Safe Homes have indicated interest in this program.

In their proposal to the Foundation, THBG documented how STEAM aptitude is strongly linked to overall academic success, critical thinking, and potential climate change solutions while highlighting that there are significant disparities in STEAM academic and career success for Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ populations nationwide. Women are underrepresented in math, physical science, and engineering careers. Additionally, refugee youth experience disruption to schooling during displacement and language barriers upon arrival. Diverse perspectives are essential for environmental advocacy and sustainable innovation.

The program will directly serve 120 youth (4 groups of 30 youth), plus approximately 20 chaperones, often comprised of adults or parents from the community. To ensure programs are relevant and impactful, THBG will work with the staff of its partner organizations to develop a curriculum tailored to their youth audience. To address financial and geographic barriers, THBG will offer the program free of charge to its community partners and will also provide bussing to all participants to alleviate the concern of transportation to the garden.

Who is the Historian in Your Family?

By Fred Daniels

In my family it’s my sister Marty (the youngest). When our parents passed, she dutifully (and happily, I believe) took in all those boxes of photos we found as we slimmed down and, ultimately, cleaned out. Since then, we’ve had calendars, themed batches of photos, and copies of pictures dating back to early times in our family history.
Who is the historian in your family line? Do you (or they) have a box of old photos from your ancestors? If you do, we want you!

You will recall that we surveyed you all about the Daniels Foundation newsletter, and we asked what your favorite content was. Overwhelmingly you all preferred the articles about family history, and so we’ve been providing them regularly. At the same time, we’ve begun to wonder how many additional stories of interest might be out there to help us all understand the roots of the shared “responsibility” which is intrinsic to the work of the Foundation.
We’re interested in photos which tell a story. We imagine that many of you may have seated portraits that were common and formally taken at various times, but what we are really interested in are any photos that capture some kind of action, something that happened, which captured the times or the energy of whatever was going on. In the prior newsletter we featured a photo of the massive wheel of Washburn & Moen cable in San Francisco, a picture which definitely told a story. In this edition we have the story from Tim Blake of his boating adventure with President George HW Bush.

We’d love to receive scans of your photos (see the tech details below, or we can assist you directly), and you can send them to [email protected]. We definitely benefit from any additional written perspective that would give context, helping us to understand who is in the photo or what is happening.

We would be pleased to feature these photos, and perhaps even receive or help you to create a remembrance similar to Tim Blake’s story in this edition. As I said last time: OK! Up to the attic you go!

Tech details:
Photo scans: pdf documents are great. Jpg or png formats are ok, also. If you have the choice, a higher resolution is best (300 x 300 or better).


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