With Community in Mind
LastJune, several local organizations, including Sunnyside Elementary and Ayer’s Cliff Elementary, received grants from a new fund that will undoubtedly benefit the region for years to come. The Tillotson Coaticook Region Fund, not to be confused with the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, will be giving away around $120,000 annually “to support
broad charitable purposes in Coaticook and surrounding communities.”
Getting this special fund off the ground took a few years and a certain amount of determination on the part of a few individuals, all of whom were employed at Best Glove Manufacturing, a Coaticook company that was owned by the late American industrialist, Neil Tillotson.
“When Mr. Tillotson died, he wanted everything to go to charity but he never said who he wanted his money to go to. So it’s been an onerous task,” said Michael
Everett, the Chair of the Tillotson Coaticook Region Fund. When Best Glove Manufacturing was sold in 2007, the assets in the bank went to the Neil and Louise Tillotson Charitable Foundation which focuses its work in the Northeast Kingdom. “Because a lot of that money was earned here by local employees, we wanted to see local communities benefit from the fund also,” explained Mr. Everett. “It took a few years because it was complicated, dealing with two countries. The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the Coaticook MRC have been instrumental in helping us set it up.”
The local fund was finally established.
Besides Mr. Everett, several former Best Glove
Manufacturing employees, those who helped to get this important fund established, sit on its committee: Jacqueline Bernais, who lives in Hatley Township; James Crook, of Ayer’s Cliff; and John Samson, of Coaticook. Judith Bolduc, of Coaticook, an employee with the new company, Showa-Best Glove, is also on the committee. They are joined by two representatives from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Advisory Committee: Tom Deans and Ben Gayman.
Neil Tillotson, who was born in East Hereford and grew up in Canaan, Vermont, made a multimillion dollar fortune as an industrialist, following his invention of latex balloons and latex gloves. “The principles of Mr.
Tillotson were ‘Be humble, be creative and be kind’,” commented Mr. Everett who was the General Manager of
working for Mr. Tillotson for over twenty years. “Mr. Tillotson had a real attachment to the Northeast and wanted to create jobs for people in this area even though it was probably not the best location. He never took a cent out of the
that’s why there was so much left in the bank when it was sold,” he commented about the generous businessman and inventor. In the United States, Mr. Tillotson was possibly most famous for being the first person in the country to vote, for around the last forty years of his life, in every presidential primary and presidential election; a televised event that was held each time at the in New Hampshire, which Mr. Tillotson owned.
The has been confused with the longer established which has been giving grants in the Coaticook MRC for several years now. “The big differences are that we’re smaller, we give grants of between $1000 and $10,000, and the territories that we serve. The
is based in the States and operates strictly in the North Country of the United States and the Coaticook MRC. Our territory in Canada is much bigger because our employees came from a much wider area,” Mr. Everett explained. Besides all the municipalities in the Coaticook MRC, the territory of the
also includes Hatley, Hatley Township, North Hatley, Ayer’s Cliff, and Stanstead.
“We will strive to keep the focus on basic needs,” mentioned committee member Judith Bolduc. About $60,000 will be given out twice a year for projects in the following areas: basic needs, health care, education, human services and social welfare, youth recreation and programs and services for the elderly. Grant applications will be accepted from Canadian organizations including non-profits, registered charities, municipalities and others.
“Among the first grants we awarded there were a lot for children. But we’re very interested in the basic needs of seniors also. We’re hoping to get applications for special projects, not applications looking for money to go into general funds,” said the committee’s Chair. “The money could be used to enhance an existing project or create a new arm of a project. Or perhaps just to complete a project,” added Ms. Bolduc.
Giving out the first grants last June was enjoyable for the committee members. “It was fun and it felt good. There was a lot involved in trying to get it going so the first time we gave the grants was like a breath of fresh air – to see the fruit of our labour. One recipient, the woman who runs the “Bassinette et Layette” in Coaticook, touched us immensely with her gratitude. It was a real boost for her service, to help her move to a new location. It feels good that you can make a difference somewhere,” Mrs. Bolduc commented.
As I conducted the interview, a framed photograph of Neil Tillotson sat on the
– Passed away suddenly on Monday, August 20th, 2012, at the age of 46. Cherished husband of Lisa Flanders and loving father of Steven (Emilie), Shane (Brandi), and Shannon. Dear grandfather of Daphnee and Kiara. Tommy, the son of the late Harriet Sheldon, will also be sadly missed by his father-in-law and mother-in-law Winston and Vivian Flanders, his father Roger Lyonnais, brothers and sister, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, other relatives and numerous friends. Visitation was held at the Cass Funeral Home, Stanstead on Thursday August 23rd, 2012, where friends came to visit from 7 to 9 p.m. and also on Friday from 1 until 2:55 p.m.. The service was held in Christ Church at 3 p.m. with Reverend Barbara Wintle officiating. At this time I would like to thank everyone who attended the service for my husband Tommy Lyonnais. Thank you for your sympathy, all the calls, the flowers, cards and food also for everyone who helped in any way. Thank you to my son Steven for everything he did for his Dad that day also to the ambulance technicians and the Magog Hospital. Special thanks to Janie and Leslie Webster at the Cass Funeral Home for all their hep and support. Thank you Reverend Barbara Wintle for the beautiful church service. Tommy was a very special man and will be missed every day and always in our hearts.
We love you. table. “He was a very humble man. If you met him here at the factory in Coaticook, you’d never know that he was the owner of so many companies. And he worked until he was 100. When I first started working with him he was in his eighties. I thought he might die soon and then I’d be looking for another job. After a little while I started to think he’d live longer than me!” said Mr. Everett affectionately about the philanthropist.
This grass roots committee has made the application process for grants easy. People interested in applying for a grant can either call Jacqueline Bernais at 819
– Passed away accidentally in Magog on Saturday, September 1st, 2012, at the age of 3. Precious son of Guillaume and MarieNael-Lessard Hamel. Adoring brother of Miryann and Maxim. Cherished greatgrandson of Bunny Noel and Clemence Lessard. Treasured grandson of Lorraine Noel (Terry Dustin), and Claire Perreault. Nathan will also be sadly missed by his aunts, uncles, and many little friends. Resting at the
Cass Funeral Home 545 Dufferin, Stanstead, where friends may visit on Saturday, September 8th from 12 until 2:30 followed by the service in the funeral home. In Nathan’s memory, donations made to the Ste-Justine UHC Fondation Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine, 335-5757 Decelle, Ave,. Montreal, Qc, H3S 2C3 would be greatly appreciated by the family.
CHAMBERLAIN, Merriman In memory of Mackey Chamberlain, August 27th, 2010. Two years have passed, Mackey since we were all together, but with the love within our hearts you’ll walk with us forever. Sadly missed, Edna (wife), Grace, Tony (Pauline), Faye (Jason)
and grandchildren 849-2737 or email her at JBernais@ BestGlove.ca for information. “The application is simple to fill out. We wanted to make it easy; we’re not the government,” joked Mr. Everett. The application deadline for the fall grants is October 1st, until 4:00 pm. An information meeting for the public about both the and the
is being held next Monday, September 10th, at the Coaticook Town Hall between 3:00 and 4:30.
Jacqueline Bernais, Michael Everett and Judith Bolduc (l. to r.) are on the committee of the Tillotson Coaticook Region Fund, a new charitable organization that was created from the assets of the former Coaticook company, Best Glove Manufacturing, which was owned by Neil Tillotson.