By Lois R. Shea, Senior Writer and Communications Officer |
Rene J. Lacasse immigrated with his parents to Claremont in the 1920s. He discovered a uniquely American sport — basketball — that he adored. He played for St. Mary’s High School and helped his team win a state championship in 1939. He served in the Navy during World War II and returned to Claremont to work for four decades as a steel worker.
After his wife died from cancer, he raised their six children with support from extended family.
Lacasse was dedicated to his community, and understood the value of sports and other group activities in children’s lives. He thought all kids should have the opportunity to participate, so he coached youth sports and — long before girls and young women were encouraged to be athletes — he helped start and run a girls’ basketball league.
In 2018, his daughter Judith Lacasse Couture, a Claremont teacher, established a fund in his name at the Charitable Foundation with the support of her siblings. The fund is designated to give Claremont children the opportunity to participate in sports and other programming offered by the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center. The fund will support registration fees of children who otherwise would not be able to participate.
One couple started recommending grants from their donor-advised fund to dozens of nonprofits before the pandemic ever really took hold here; another was among the first to respond to the call to build the Community Crisis Action Fund to address urgent need across the state. Here are some stories of responsive and flexible generosity in an unprecedented time.
Before he died, Barry Quimby set up a fund that would continue to support the nonprofit organization where he had worked for nearly 20 years.
Outdoor Pride Landscaping and Snow Management in Manchester, named one of Forbes' "Best Small Companies of 2019," gives to have an impact on the community where they live, work and play.
Story Wright served on the Charitable Foundation board of directors from 1995 to 2003. She understood how frequently needs arose that did not fit neatly into a certain geographic region or fall within the designated purpose of a particular charitable fund. So she set up a Flexible Fund for New Hampshire that could be used to meet community needs as they arose
The Bill and Esther Levy Scholarship Fund provides college money for students of Kennett High School in North Conway, which serves eight towns in the Mount Washington Valley. Bill’s stepson, Ron Collins, remembered Bill Levy saying: “I want the kids in the Valley to have a chance. If they have the gumption to go to school, but not the money, I’m going to help them.’
A growing number of individuals and families are 'paying it forward' to Claremont and surrounding communities by becoming part of the Fund for Greater Claremont. Grants from the fund have helped connect kids with reading mentors at school; provide wraparound services for struggling families through the local family resource center; provide free dental care for kids; prevent domestic violence; support the local community center — and more
The People’s United Community Foundation has aligned its New Hampshire grantmaking with the priorities of “New Hampshire Tomorrow,” the Charitable Foundation’s initiative to increase opportunity for young people — helping more kids go to summer camp, enabling more kids to get mentors, supporting wraparound services for struggling young families, and more
Sumner’s philanthropic legacy includes helping to establish the Foundation’s presence in the Piscataqua region
Tricia and Paul Casey have included the Foundation in their will and want their charitable dollars to be deployed where they are needed most — whatever the future may bring
One generous family kickstarted the greatest charitable legacy that New Hampshire has ever known. The Charitable Foundation's Spaulding-Potter Circle Legacy Society is named in their honor. When generous people include the Foundation in their estate plans, they join the Spauldings and Potters in that legacy for good.
Mainstay Technologies ‘pays it forward’ through its donor-advised fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Foundation staff help identify giving opportunities, and the Mainstay "charity team" recommends grants — from helping refugee children be able to attend summer camp to contributing to a scholarship to help a student get his associate degree at NHTI
Ralph Baer was an engineer and inventor whose "brown box" controller became the original prototype for much of modern video gaming. The Ralph H. and Dena W. Baer Scholarship Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will support the next generation of innovative thinkers from the Queen City, helping students from Manchester Central High School who want to study in technology-related fields