Cummings Foundation Announces Local Grants

May 31, 2012

$100,000 each to seven Beverly/Salem healthcare and social service institutions, including Montserrat College of Art!

PHOTO: (back row, left to right) Richard Wylie, president, Endicott College; Deborah Kincade Rambo, president, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston; Susan Healey Payson, senior vice president philanthropy, Beverly Hospital of Lahey Health System; Ken Hanover, president and CEO, Beverly Hospital of Lahey Health System; Steve Drohosky, general manager, Cummings Center. (front row, left to right) Stephen Immerman, president, Montserrat College of Art; Maureen Banks, president, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital; Joyce Vyriotes, communications director, Cummings Properties; Patricia Meservey, president, Salem State University.

Cummings Foundation, Inc., a principal beneficiary of the earnings from Beverly’s Cummings Center business park, has announced a significant expansion of its support for Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk county not-for-profits. Seven major North Shore institutions have received grants of $100,000 each, most of which will be paid over two or more years.

The Foundation received 203 proposals during its first grant cycle, from January 2 to April 15, 2012. Through its recently created grant-making affiliate, One World Boston, Inc., it will award more than 60 new grants totaling at least $7 million in 2012, almost all within its tri-county area.

In addition to $100,000 previously committed to North Shore Community College, Cummings Foundation announced its support for three additional local schools. Endicott College, Salem State University, and Montserrat College of Art will each receive $100,000. The same amount will go to two local healthcare organizations, Beverly Hospital and Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care-North Shore, as well as to Catholic Charities North, which has locations in Salem, Peabody, and Gloucester.

Cummings Center general manager Steve Drohosky said, “While the Cummings organization has always believed in being a good corporate neighbor, we are delighted to be able extend our support through these substantial special grants to deserving North Shore organizations.”

While the vast majority of the Foundation’s awards will assist organizations in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties, its healthcare grants are quite diverse. It has pledged $250,000 to establish a national cancer infusion center in the city of Butaro, in northern Rwanda. An additional $100,000 has been committed to Rwinkwavu Hospital, also in Rwanda, for an agricultural training program to combat chronic malnutrition, one of the country’s most vexing development challenges.

The operations of these two rural hospitals, both part of Boston-based Partners In Health, are overseen by Dr. Peter Drobac, who has appointments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In an email of appreciation for the grants, Drobac wrote, “Cancer care and integrated food security are two of Partners In Health’s most important new initiatives, and we expect both to have significant impact throughout this remarkable country.”

Joyce and Bill Cummings personally visited Rwinkwavu Hospital in January. They also toured the site selected for the new National Cancer Center, about 50 miles north of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. The Winchester, Mass. couple established Cummings Foundation in 1986, donating to it more than 90 percent of the wealth they made through Cummings Properties, their commercial real estate firm, founded in 1969.

Cummings Foundation’s international gifts come from a separate division of the Foundation, Institute for World Justice, LLC. Other Rwandan grants include $100,000 each to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, in support of its professional training programs for youths orphaned during the country’s 1994 genocide, and the Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali. This division of the Foundation also reportedly awarded $100,000 this year to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

Locally, Cummings Foundation has long supported many Beverly organizations, especially, including a $1 million gift in 2004 to YMCA of the North Shore for construction of the Douglas Stephens YMCA Teen Center, on Essex Street in Beverly. The Center is named in memory of Cummings Properties’ late executive vice president and treasurer.

Also in 2004, the Foundation made its largest philanthropic commitment to date: $50 million to Tufts University, Bill Cummings’ alma mater, for what is known now as the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

OneWorld Boston’s next grant cycle is expected to open in January 2013, with updated information to be posted at in December 2012. Unsolicited grants will be received between January 1 and April 15, 2013 for approximately $15 million in awards, strictly within the tri-county area of northeast Massachusetts.

Drohosky said there is a serious attempt on the part of Cummings Foundation to return its philanthropy to the areas that supported its growth, and where most employees of the Cummings organization live. In addition to its rebuilding and conversion of the derelict United Shoe Machinery property as Cummings Center, Cummings Properties affiliate Anderson-Clarke Inc. recently purchased the former Parker Brothers headquarters on Dunham Road in Beverly.