Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD On July 1, the Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation may be changing its name but certainly not its philanthropic practices. The Beveridge Family is currently operating two foundations, the Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation and the Beveridge Family Foundation, one to fund Stanley Park and the other to grant millions annually to local non-profit organizations.
At the beginning of the next fiscal year, the foundation will continue to support Stanley Park and non-profits but under one name the Beveridge Family Foundation in an effort to honor its founder, Frank Stanley Beveridge as well as all the family members involved in the foundation.
In 1900, Frank Stanley Beveridge moved from his home in Nova Scotia to the United States with only $1.35 Canadian in his pocket.
By his death in 1956, Beveridge had built a life for himself far beyond the meager $1.35 Canadian he had held in his hand 56 years earlier.
"He was a bigger than life grandfather someone Hollywood would portray," Philip Caswell, Beveridge's grandson and also president of the Beveridge Family Foundation's board of directors, said. "For all that he had living in that little house . that is not a grand house for someone that grand."
Beveridge came to live in Westfield during the 1930s, where he founded Stanley Home Products Inc. Caswell said he chose to live in Westfield because of the flower pots that once lined the bridges as one entered downtown.
Beveridge's love for Westfield and the preservation of its natural beauty was so great that in 1949 he established Stanley Park of Westfield Inc., on 25 acres of land. The park has evolved into the Stanley Park known to all today as a 300-acre park filled with gardens, recreational fields and walking trails.
Two years earlier, Beveridge founded the Frank Stanley Beveridge Foundation in an effort to financially support Stanley Park. The foundation gives approximately $700,000 to the park for operational costs each year. Upon Beveridge's death in 1956, the trust was incorporated and now gives approximately $1.5 million each year to non-profit organizations in Hampden and Hampshire counties.
"As we move forward, we will strive to continue the exemplary leadership of our founder in today's philanthropic environment," Caswell said.
All grant applications for monies from the Beveridge Family Foundation will continue to operate exclusively online at www.beveridge.org.
"The [Beveridge] family has a strong attachment to him and to what he did and to the park," Caswell said. "[We] want to make sure that the park is sustained the way he would have wanted it."
Jeffrey Glaze, president of the board of directors for Stanley Park agreed.
"Stanley Park is the crown jewel of Westfield," Glaze said. "People grow up [falsely] thinking that every city has a park just like this. It's an outstanding free resource for the people of Westfield."
He added that Beveridge made a "commitment" to the community by establishing the park and it is now the job of the foundation and the park to "maintain his legacy."