Harrington Foundation commits $3M to support Boys & Girls Club

From left: Clark Vice President for Government and Community Affairs and Campus Services Jack Foley, Clark Trustee Tony Tilton, Clark VP of Marketing and Communications Paula David, former Trustee James Harrington and his brother Francis A. Harrington Jr., at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester after the gift was announced. Not pictured: Clark Executive Vice President and Treasurer Jim Collins. Photo by Liz Hamilton.

Sometimes a simple, straightforward response is all that’s required.  At least that’s what former Clark University Trustee James H. (Jim) Harrington told dozens of city officials and community leaders, board members and past presidents of the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester in the lobby of the 65 Tainter Street facility this morning.

It was there that he and his brother, Francis A. Harrington Jr.— successors to The Francis A. and Jacquelyn H. Harrington Foundation—announced a commitment of support for the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester totaling $3 million payable to the club over three years, with an initial payment of $1 million to be given to the club this month.

“It’s very simple,” said Harrington. “It’s about more than building the Boys & Girls Club… it’s about more than building the Main South neighborhood and the partnership with Clark University and Quinsigamond and all of the other players. It’s about building the future of an entire city, because the future of this city lies in the hands of the kind of kids that come through our doors every day. This is where that money belongs.”

Clark President David Angel said Harrington has been a “bridge” in the development of the great partnership between Clark University and the Boys & Girls Club.

“He has provided extraordinary vision with his leadership positions on the governance of both organizations. Early in Clark’s partnership with the community, he recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to the challenges facing the families in our neighborhood. He utilized his leadership skills to support new housing in this neighborhood, outstanding educational opportunities for all children, and out-of-school programming and mentoring relationships for our families,” said President Angel.

In the mid-1990’s, Jim Harrington—both personally and through the Foundation—recognized Clark’s partnership with the community with significant gifts that allowed the University to renovate a Victorian on Woodland Street and relocate the President’s residence to the heart of the campus.  Harrington House is named for Jim’s father, the late Francis A. Harrington, a former Clark trustee. A long-time supporter of the University, Jim Harrington has given generously to the construction of the Academic Commons at Goddard Library and the Traina Center for Visual and Performing Arts among other things.  The Harrington Foundation is also supporting the construction of a new Clark athletic field next to the Boys & Girls Club. That construction is slated for 2013.

'The legacy of the Harrington Foundation will continue for decades in Main South with their extraordinarily generous support for Clark University, the Boys & Girls Club, and Quinsigamond Community College.'

~ President David Angel

Ron Hadorn, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, praised the Harrington Foundation’s long history of commitment to children and to the Main South neighborhood.

“This gift marks an important milestone in our club’s history,” said Hadorn. “Through their remarkable commitment to our kids and the Main South neighborhood, the Francis A. and Jacquelyn H. Harrington Foundation puts a perfect Christmas bow on this amazing clubhouse.”

Hadorn said that the gift retires the remaining debt on the facility, which opened in 2006.

The Main South facility will be renamed The Francis A. and Jacquelyn H. Harrington Clubhouse at a ceremony next spring.

Harrington served as a Clark trustee from 1992-1996 and from 1996-2000, and an honorary trustee from 2001-2009.  He is retired as the CEO of Dolphin Resource Group, Inc., a provider of financial administration, management and operational support services to clients throughout New England. Prior to that he was the CEO and director of the New England Science Center from 1980-90. Some of his past community service has included trusteeships with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Quinsigamond Community College Foundation, Worcester Municipal Research Bureau, American Antiquarian Society, Boys & Girls Club, the Ecotarium, and many others.