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Fund that's given $34M in grants celebrating 10th year

Posted September 18

— A fund that has awarded $34 million in grants in northern New Hampshire, Vermont and southern Quebec for community and economic development is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Throughout October, the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund will sponsor events ranging from free pancake breakfasts to concerts.

Neil Tillotson built numerous companies that employed thousands of people in the region and beyond. When he died in 2001, he left the bulk of his assets for charitable purposes. In 2006, Louise Tillotson created the fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. It's one of the largest permanent rural philanthropies in the country.

Examples include a $6.3 million investment in early child education initiatives in Coos County, $5 million in business development, and funded leadership development programs.

"We have, as a county, moved forward with increasing quality of early education at a steady pace and in a very comprehensive manner — including not only high-quality materials and more inviting centers, but also our knowledge of how young children learn and grow," said Sue Cloutier, director of the White Mountains Community College Early Childhood Development Center in Berlin.

She said the Tillotson investment means that "we really are a united county when it comes to early childhood education and healthy families."

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