January 2023 Newsletter

January 2023 Newsletter

January 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2023 edition of the Daniels Foundation Newsletter. In this issue, we explore the following topics. Click on the links to read the articles!

Board Profile: Emily Winsor Daignault-Salvaggio! In December of 2022 Emily joined the board, at the age of 51….  Click here to read more…

Capital Grants: Our First Since Before COVID! Capital funding from the Daniels Foundation has officially started again…  Click here to read more…

Program Spotlight: Lovin’ Spoonfuls! In 2020 Ashley Stanley, founder and chief executive officer of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, came up with the brilliant idea of connecting some of the 38 million people in this country that face food insecurity with… Click here to read more…

Generation 2: The Stories We Tell About the Greatest Generation! This column is intended to be a space devoted to “Daniels family history” with an original focus on those who were connected in some way to the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation… Click here to read more…

Thank You, Sarah Daignault! A farewell and scenes from the party… Click here to read more…

Board Profile: Emily Winsor Daignault-Salvaggio

In December of 2022 Emily joined the board, at the age of 51. She is the board’s fourth member of Generation 4. Emily’s Daniels family connection comes from her maternal grandmother, Sally Daniels Pettit. Sally was one of two daughters of Dwight Clark Daniels.

Emily is the eldest daughter of outgoing Board member, Sarah Pettit Daignault and Alexander Troup Daignault, Jr. She was born in Worcester, Massachusetts at the same hospital where her mother was born. While she was not raised in Worcester like her mother, for the bulk of her childhood and a bit beyond she lived in Towson, Maryland. She has been a lifelong equestrian and through that interest has been able to live across the United States in a variety of states and regions. Her favorite location by far was Los Angeles, CA for all the sun and warm weather. However, the place which has inspired her the most was the small town of Mondovi, Wisconsin, with a population of 1300 people, where she lived and worked at the local golf course with Fish Fry facilities.
After her high school graduation Emily sampled a variety of colleges and universities but ultimately earned a degree in life experience rather than the traditional parchment.

She is married to John Salvaggio, and the two live on a 47-acre farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania with their three dogs. She owns four horses and competes regularly in Show Jumping and Eventing competitions up and down the East coast of the USA.

Emily looks forward to spending more time in Worcester and learning more about how the various foundation grant recipients effect changes for the better in the community.

Capital Grants: Our First Since Before COVID!

Capital funding from the Daniels Foundation has officially started again. The board decided to close those types of requests to focus on the urgent basic needs brought about by the Corona Virus. That remained our focus through advisory grants for two years. With targeted funding well established and having a better understanding of the impacts from shutdown, we were ready to add desperately needed Capital funding back into our application process. At the most recent quarterly meeting we accepted and approved new Capital grant requests.

We evaluated 10 grants asking a total of $1,352,500.00. We had up to $250,000.00 available to grant this year, based on the 25% rolling average of the corpus. The committee thoroughly reviewed the requests following the updated guideline we had decided on ahead of opening the request window. We looked closely at requests from groups who had limited resources and served more basic-needs services. We also took notice if the non-profit had a broad donor pool, an endowment not exceeding our own corpus, and if any of those endowment funds were going toward the project. Previously some Capital grants had been awarded to large organizations with historical ties to the Daniels family. While we recognize their importance to the Worcester community, we believe our funds can be spent with more impact once we release those historical expectations.

After reviewing all the proposals with our new lens, the committee elected to fund 7 of the 10 grant requests. The following non-profits will receive funding for their projects from the Daniels Foundation: Nativity School; African Community Education Program (ACE Building Renovation); Abby Kelley Foster House, Inc; Rainbow Child Development Center; Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc; Mustard Seed; and Guild of St Agnes of Worcester, Inc. We were able to agree on amounts that kept funding at the expected limit and felt that the impact would be great for all these groups.

Program Spotlight: Lovin’ Spoonfuls

In 2020 Ashley Stanley, founder and chief executive officer of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, came up with the brilliant idea of connecting some of the 38 million people in this country that face food insecurity with the surplus food that is able to be rescued from grocery stores, farmers, and produce wholesalers. Ashley started the nonprofit 501c program in Boston. Now it has expanded to Worcester County, and the Daniels Foundation is glad to help this worthy program succeed.

90,000 people in Worcester face food insecurity daily. That is 1 in 8 residents. There are now 9 Lovin’ Spoonfuls routes in Worcester that gather healthy food from Big Y, Roche Bros, Community harvest, and the Worcester Regional Food Hub. This donated food (that otherwise would have been thrown out) is delivered food to local food pantries, meal programs, senior centers, and after school programs where it is very much needed. 35% of the food produced daily is either unsold or not eaten, so this is a sensible solution to food waste and food insecurity. Hopefully, this idea will expand further so that there is less food waste and, most importantly, LESS food insecurity.

Generation 2: The Stories We Tell About the Greatest Generation

This column is intended to be a space devoted to “Daniels family history” with an original focus on those who were connected in some way to the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation. We have published stories of each of the three founding brothers and their wives. We have covered Fred Harris Daniels himself and taken a few interesting side trips.
What is next you might ask?

Our intention is to cover the next generation. That is to say, we want to cover the children of the founding brothers. This author has begun to put together a list of those folks who are the parents of our generation and grandparents of the gen 4 crowd. That would be seven children and their spouses.

So here is the first installment, a story of privilege meeting the proletariat.. one girl’s story…

Turn your clocks back to World War Two.

Sally Daniels Pettit was the youngest of two daughters of Dwight Clark Daniels. Born in 1922, Sally spent summers in boats and winters skiing.  For schooling she went to Bancroft School, Miss Halls School and finally Garland Junior College (now defunct). Then came the War.

In 1943 Sally joined other young women across the country and volunteered as a WAVE in the US Navy. WAVE stands for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. And this was the vehicle for stateside women to help in the war effort. She became part of, in an instant, what Tom Brokaw (NBC nightly news until 2004) would decades later call “the Greatest Generation”.

Her position was a Pharmacist Mate and she served for 3 years in Florida.  What actually did she do? Honestly, we’re not totally sure. We have no mention of the friendships she made , no mention of the struggles or successes she achieved. Nothing was ever shared . Alas, she never talked about her time in the Navy except to be clear that she was proud to have done it and that for the first time in her life she accomplished something on her own.

Oh wait…  there is just one story she told, time and time again.  When she enlisted in Boston, she was sent by train to Jacksonville Fla. Remember nobody knew how long the war was going to last so we can imagine she packed enough as she was very accustomed to train travel.

She related that once aboard the train it was a two-day trip.  The train finally pulled into the Station at the Naval Hospital, and she went to the baggage car to get her trunks and bags.  Once those were secured, she looked for a Red Cap (baggage handlers who worked for tips and were to be found at all railroad stations). Oh wait, this is a Naval Base.  She admitted to her complete shock when she realized there were no Red Caps and she was going to have to lug her belongings herself.  There was no one to help her. She was on her own for the first time in her life.   She admitted that carrying the bags up 3 flights of stairs was difficult. Sally never finished the story of her time in the Navy, she just left us with the image of a 21-year-old Yankee Wasp Debutante dragging a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk up endless stairs to aid in the fight for democracy.

Do you have stories of your parents or grandparents? Let’s start with war stories… call me (617) 869 8897 or email me at [email protected]

I cannot promise publication, but we love stories and I’d love to hear yours.

Thank You, Sarah Daignault!

After our celebration party, Sarah sent this email to the Board:

Now that I have returned to earth, I want to thank all of you for the celebration on Monday. I was completely surprised, and I had a really great time. I love the image of all of us in our matching bowling shirts.

That image captures what I want to thank you for. We are a team. Even as the old people leave and the younger people join the board, we are still a team. We work to make things better in Worcester. I’m proud of that.

And working together over the years I have come to know my family. Some of you were not born when I was growing up. Others I only saw at funerals. All I could do then was wonder about you. See attached picture.

Because of our time together, I have come to know each of you. I can see your passion when we are talking about grants, see the things that are important to you. In our mealtimes we shared stories about our families, parents, kids, jobs.

It is an incredible privilege to know my family and to like my family. Thank you to each of you for sharing yourselves. This has been an amazing opportunity for me.


Fred responded, saying:

Sarah, what fun we all had! The truth is, though, that it’s a testament to your leadership in our family which made the experience what it was. We’ve all been bowling before at some point in our lives. But to be bowling “a la Sunshine”! Now that’s fun!

You’ve been an important catalyst for making us into a good team. You have never hesitated to ask the tough questions, and it is the hard-found answers which has helped the team think more deeply, care more passionately, and perform more successfully. Thank you!

As we move forward, as the new generation takes the reins as they should, and as the opportunities in Worcester continue to grow, I am confident there will be many times in the future when someone will wonder: “what would Sunshine say about this?”  And that is as it should be, because your legacy is more than just some fond memories. It embodies a willingness to lean into the heart of the issues and do what it takes and what’s right.

And that’s what the three brothers did in 1949.  They had three goals, according to family legend: evade the IRS, pay their staff through some means other than payroll, and do something good for Worcester to perpetuate their service on multiple Boards of Directors. Each generation has leaned more into the hard issues facing Worcester, and now the 3rd and 4th generation have focused 100% of grants into Worcester County with a deep commitment to addressing circumstances for girls, age 10-14. So, your time with the Board now dovetails with 73 years of an evolving mission which has a significant impact on the community.

Those remaining of the Board will continue this legacy, now your legacy, and we are all deeply grateful for your commitment and effort.  Thank you, Sarah!

Merry Christmas to you, your family, and all Board members reading this email.

You can enjoy some pictures from the lanes here.

Bowling Nicknames:

  • Fred Daniels: The Prez
  • SarahMorse: Slim Sapphire
  • James Morse: The Enforcer
  • Carlos La Hoz Daniels: The Deputy
  • Dwight Blake: Ball Buster
  • Bill Pettit: Bro
  • Sarah Pettit Daignault: Sunshine
  • Chris Eaton: Birdie
  • Dave Nicholson: Tool Man
  • Laura Rutkiewicz: Bumpers
  • Wendy Andrews: Buzzy
  • Barre Blake Hardy: Boo
  • Emily Daignault-Salvaggio: Newbie
  • Dwight Blake, Jr.: D. Spare
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