March 2018 Newsletter

March 2018 Newsletter

Things I Didn’t Know About Worcester – The City That My Family’s Foundation has Supported For Almost 70 Years

With a population of 182,000 in 2010, Worcester is the 2nd largest city in N.E. Worcester and is rated as one of Massachusetts best cities to live in in. One can find a multitude of educational opportunities with 12 colleges in the area. The health care is top notch with both U Mass Medical (a teaching hospital) and St. Vincent’s within the city limits. The cost of living is rated as good. Benefits, such as the WOO card, which the Daniels Foundation supported, helps to give reduced bus fare and reduced ticket cost for many of the city’s activities, such as shows, special events, and street festivals.

For cultural venues, there is the Worcester Art Museum, which houses Paul Revere’s silver collection and the Higgins armor collection. The Foundation helped to keep the collection in Worcester when it was being lured away by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Hanover Theater has stellar performances, and the Eco Tarium, along with live animals, has excellent hands-on science information, as well as the Goddard collection of rocks & minerals – a very fine collection. The American Antiquarian Society, which includes the Goddard home, draws people from all around the globe. The Society was started by Isaiah Thomas, a printer and American Revolutionary War patriot.

There is always something of cultural influence to enjoy, whether it is a concert, the theater, a gallery, or a museum. And with the rich ethnic diversity of Worcester, there’s an abundance of festivals, ethnic restaurants, and shops.

A Farmers’ Market is open year round with fresh produce and freshly made bread. If recreation is what you desire, check out The Central Rock Gym, Room Escapes Games or Wormtown Brewery.

And even though Worcester is the 2nd largest city, nature is close by with Elm Park, Green Hill Park and Broad Meadow Brook, a wildlife sanctuary. Go for a short drive for a horseback ride and some fresh maple syrup in season.

No wonder Worcester is called the “heart of the commonwealth” and it is easily accessible to Boston. Yes, Worcester is a remarkable city, which we will continue to support.

Clarence White Daniels – The Metallurgist

Almost exactly one year to the day, after marrying, Fred H Daniels and Sarah Lydia White celebrated the birth of their first born, Clarence White Daniels, on May 12th 1884.

By the age of 26, Clarence completed a degree in metallurgical engineering from the Columbia School of Mines, located in mid town Manhattan, before its move to its better known location on the upper West side, and now called The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. That same year, 1910, he married Janet M. Wellman, daughter of Frank Wellman, a business associate from Cleveland Ohio.

For the next 3 years he lived and worked in Great Falls Montana in the copper mining industry.

1913 brought him back to Worcester permanently and for the rest of his career at Norton Company, quickly rising to plant engineer and director. That was also the year that his father, Fred Harris Daniels passed away.

Clarence and Janet, first lived at 5 Montvale Road, across the street from his parents home. Using his engineering skills Clarence was the driving force behind the construction of 15 Rutland terrace, a Queen Anne style Tudor home where his mother and our great (great) grandmother would move into and live for the next 27 years, directly across the street from his new home on Metcalf St.

Surely, the dutiful oldest child took care of his mother.

The Clarence Daniels children were: Jeanne, who married Gerald W. Hopkins, Clarence White, Jr. who married Jane Gerety, and Priscilla who married William S. Nicholson.

150 community leaders turn out to wish Meridith well!

(Excerpted from remarks by Fred Daniels, President)

It’s great to see such a warm and wonderful turnout, to recognize our own Meridith Wesby, who has been working tirelessly in the Worcester community for at least 4 decades. I say at least, because nobody at the Daniels Foundation is exactly sure when she started, and when I have asked others I have received a number of different dates. Suffice it to say, Meridith, you’ve been engaged with good works in Worcester for a long time. Thank you!

I have asked three people to speak about their work with you over these years. I am sure everyone in this room has their own story to tell, but with almost 120 in attendance tonight, which is quite a testament itself, I am sure we just don’t have enough time, food or drink to hear from everyone. That said, I am also sure that these three folks can provide perspective which will help us all understand the scope of your good work in this community.

(Comments by Ellen Dunlap, President of the American Antiquarian Society; Ann Lisi, President and CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation; and, Anne Wettingel, United Way and chair of the Women’s Initiative in Worcester)

At this time I want to spend just a couple of minutes in recognition of Meridith’s time with the Daniels Foundation. Meridith preceded me onto the Board of Trustees and worked with my father for some time. When I became the Foundation President in 2002, Meridith was very helpful to me in getting focused on the tasks at hand. Meridith, I want to personally thank you for your gracious assistance at that time. That said, Meridith, I am sure you have noticed over the years that we have not always agreed! As I spent some time looking back I have come to realize something: in fact, cousin, I believe that you were right more often than stubborn, and I was stubborn more often than right. And, knowing you as I do, you’re probably thinking right now Man, he is such a pain!

Well, maybe so. Like always, we may to have to agree to disagree. Which is the interesting thing about being involved in a family foundation. Consensus drives decisions, not hierarchy, and over the years all of the Foundation Trustees have navigated some pretty significant issues. Like how can the three family lines be best represented? How should we prepare for the next generation of Board members? Who should serve? Or, when the market crash wiped out 40% of our equity, how should we react? And, most recently, when it became clear that a strategic focus was desired, how should we determine the focus and organize to become more than just a simple granting organization?

Meridith, in all cases you were at the center of those discussions. In most cases you were leading the Trustees to the right conclusions. And, sometimes I was stubborn, and at all times you were patient.

Thank you, Meridith, for being a guiding star to the Daniels Foundation. Thank you, cousin, for putting up with me and many of the others as we have worked to find our way. Your voice will be missed, but your presence will be felt for many years as the Trustees continue with the work which you have been so instrumental in initiating.

And, so, Meridith, on behalf of the Board of Trustees we thank you, we are grateful to you, we are grateful for you, and we are honored to present you with this recognition which is completely inadequate at expressing our thanks.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing Meridith D, Wesby for her many years of service to Worcester and to the Daniels Foundation.

(Meridith receives the award and offers comments.)

Thank you all for coming, and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Meet your cousin Laura, who’s just joined the Board

Hi, all. Laura Rutkiewicz here. I have just been voted on to the board, filling the spot left vacant by Meridith Wesby, and I’m telling you there is no way my feet are filling those big shoes! I am excited to join the board and learn about the work accomplished in the meetings and the broad reach of the Daniels funding. Having attended a few meetings over the last couple years, I have an idea about the nonprofits, the discussions, and the personalities I will be working with to help accomplish major progress in Worcester County

I live in Berwick, ME with my husband Jared, 7-year-old Joel and 4-year-old Lydia. We love to go hiking in the White Mountains and camping in the summer. I am a client service associate at Quadripoint Investment Management which came into existence in August of 2017 after years of planning and cooperation with our previous employer Kennebunk Savings Bank. The president of Quadripoint, Ryan Hale, and I have worked together for going on 10 years, so this transition was a smooth one and now we are going through the fun adventure of self-employment.

Each generation gets farther away from the founders, but here is my lineage. My mother is current board member, Christina Eaton. My grandfather was previous board member William (Nick) Nicholson who was married to Priscilla Daniels until her passing. She was the daughter of co-founder Clarence Daniels.

Before joining the board, I joined forces with 5 other Daniels decedents to form the G4 Fund Group. So far, we have worked together to grant $75,000 over a 3-year time frame to 3 unique non-profit programs. To start, we gathered feedback from the whole 4th generation (those who took the survey) to find a focus for funding. The combination of education and homeless youth prevention were the top winners. Our group and the process we all went through to find our way has been great preparation for a seat on the board. I highly recommend joining the group to get valuable preparation for being a board member and to help shape the future funding. It’s all flexible, in fact we have never met all face to face, completing all tasks through email and conference calls. If you want to get involved but have an interest in a different area, let us know and we can go back to the drawing board. These funds won’t go out without this group, so join us and keep it going!

Foundation continues their support of Bottom Line

At the December meeting the board voted to continue support for Bottom Line, a high-impact, one-on-one coaching program aiming to increase the college graduation rate for low-income, first-generation-to-college students in Worcester. The December grant is the sixth awarded to the organization.

Twenty years ago, Bottom Line opened its doors as a small organization serving 25 high school seniors in Boston. It has grown into a multi-state support network for over 7,000 students. Bottom line has operated in Worcester since 2008, and will continue to serve approximately 418 students already in college, as well as supporting a new cohort of 100 high school seniors through the entire college application process.

Bottom Line has developed a proven model to ensure students are four times more likely to graduate. Their Access counselors help students get into college and then they go a step further by ensuring students are making the right choice, looking at academic, financial, and personal fit to get students to start their college career on solid footing. The Success counselors travel to college campuses to meet with students in-person multiple times throughout the year with a codified curriculum to ensure they can overcome any obstacles that might get in the way of earning their degree. Thanks to these programs, over 78% percent of students in the program have earned a college degree within six years. Through the Bottom Line programs, students are empowered to take ownership of their educational journeys and build self- confidence, so they can advocate for themselves within their institutions.

The Daniels Foundation mission is “to support sustainable, creative solutions to Worcester’s most pressing social challenges while helping people become more self-reliant in their lives and communities.” Bottom Line’s mission is “to help low income, first generation students get into college, graduate from college, and go far in life.” Their vision is “to dramatically transform urban communities by producing thousands of new career-ready college graduates.” The board’s decision to continue support for Bottom Line was facilitated by this overlap of missions and visions combined with solid data-based evidence of the success of the Bottom Line program.

You can learn more about The Bottom Line, Inc. by clicking here.

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