NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

December 27, 2013

Unintended consequences of the best kind

Bill Plante's North Shore
Newburyport Daily News

---- — Permit me to get this out of the way, straight away for those who may not know I have been but one of many over more than half a century involved in what follows.

How many? More than 400 when including those who contributed some $200,000 in contributions over two years in 1965-1966.

That may not seem like much today, but it was a major undertaking back then.

It began with a dire need, post-World War II, in 1955 for jobs in Newburyport with no thought whatsoever of charitable giving as a goal

It would take 10 years of trying before Newburyport Area Industrial Development Corp. would be born.

It would be closed following the last sale of land and be followed by creation of the NAID Foundation.

That said, the news is that the foundation contributed $180,000 to many recipients in mid-December, bringing the total of its giving since its inception to $2,001,745.

This year’s recipients included:

The Anna Jaques Hospital

Bellville Improvement Society

Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley

Community Service in Newbury

Custom House Maritime Society

Firehouse Center for the Arts

Hugh Doyle Research Center

Immaculate Conception School

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center

Merrimack Valley Hospice House

Newbury Town Library

Newburyport Adult & Community Education

Newburyport Art Association

Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

Newburyport Education Foundation

Newburyport Learning Enrichment center

Friends of the Newburyport Public Library

Opportunity Works

Pettengill House

Salvation Army

Triton High School English Department

Following our meeting, I touched on some of the history that had led to the creation of the foundation and was rewarded later by a copy of the names of those involved in the creation of NAID in 1965.

The Executive Committee included Henry Graf Jr., Maurice A. Kalman, Malcolm K. Hoyt, Stanley S. Tucker, Edward C. FitzGerald Jr., Earl F. Cook.

All are deceased, as are those of the great majority of the 20 members of the original board of directors.

It was in the reading of the names of the more than 400 contributors to the fund drive, together with the amounts of their contributions, however, that spoke to the breadth of what needed be done at that time.

By today’s standards, donations of the responding great majority appear modest, but what they spoke to was their agreement on the city’s needs, and what it would take to create a new manufacturing structure, even as the city was attempting to regenerate its central business district.

In dealing with the important issues of the present, sometimes the unintended consequences can be rewarding beyond our immediate concerns.

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Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is plantejr@comcast.net.