Every single grant and scholarship that the Charitable Foundation makes starts with a person who cared enough to give.
I met Ann Haggart four years ago — she was interested in establishing a bequest scholarship with the Foundation for graduates of Keene High, where she and her sisters had all gone to high school. Ann would come to also establish two other funds – a community fund, and a field-of-interest fund to support many areas that she was passionate about. Ann required us to think outside the box a bit when we established these funds. Multiple Foundation staff members helped work out details.
I knew that Ann was battling something serious, though she never really shared the specifics of her illness with me. When I emailed back and forth with her in January, she noted that she was due to have another procedure and asked to get together in the spring. “Be in touch,” she said.
Two weeks ago, Ann’s friend Maggie sent me a note saying that Ann had died. She noted that Ann was concerned that she hadn’t given us a brief write-up about her and her sisters to accompany the scholarship documents and so her friend passed along a few statements that Ann shared shortly before she died.
At Ann’s funeral Mass, I learned more about who she was – the aunt, the sister, the friend, the teacher, the business owner, the gardener and of course the person who cared about giving back. Her nieces and nephews shared 67 things about Ann — one for each year of her life.
Number one: “She was very giving.” And also: “She measured our height every Thanksgiving.” “She liked to laugh.” “She was very thrifty.” “She sent homemade Christmas cookies.” “She valued education.” “She took us on great adventures.” “She had a thick Yankee accent.” ““She was very smart.” “She had a rusty silver tin can with the materials for s’mores in it.” “She built her own house.” “She valued the environment.” “She was very proud of her heritage and ancestors.” “She drank Moxie soda.” And “She loved helping others before herself.”
Ann’s gifts to New Hampshire, in the form of the funds she established at the Foundation, are significant, and will continue to serve the state in perpetuity. The dollars she entrusted to the Foundation were dollars that she had worked hard to earn. Working with Ann, I was yet again reminded of what a privilege it is to fulfill the wishes of generous Granite Staters. It is an honor to have known her.