The Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 14th annual Renaissance Award as Gordon Hargrove, Executive Director of Friendly House. The winner was announced today during the Foundation's annual meeting held at Mechanics Hall, where it also released its 2017 financial results and elected new directors and corporators.

With an operating budget of over $4.8 million, Friendly House provides comprehensive coordinated neighborhood basic services to inner-city families in Worcester. Gordon Hargrove has been with Friendly House for more than 60 years since joining as a volunteer in 1957. He would go onto become Program Director in 1964 and then Executive Director in 1969. Hargrove has been described by his colleagues as instrumental in adapting the focus of Friendly House to meet the ever-changing needs of the citizens of Worcester. Over the decades, he has helped open facilities and shelters, initiated important programming to lift families out of poverty, and established invaluable partnerships with other nonprofits and organizations to ensure low-income Worcester residents receive the care they need. Hargrove's generosity extends into all aspects of his life, from shoveling driveways of disabled residents to making after-hours calls to ensure shelter placement for the homeless.

“Thousands of low-income families in Worcester have been impacted by Gordon's leadership and dedication over the decades that he has been involved with Friendly House,” said Ann T. Lisi, president & CEO of the Foundation. “His tireless commitment to serving the Worcester community has demonstrated the utmost merit to be this year's winner of our Renaissance Award.”

The Renaissance Award is a cash prize of $5,000 awarded annually by the Foundation to recognize the exceptional talent and dedication of those who lead nonprofits in our area. It was established as an endowed prize through a gift by the late John W. Lund to show the community's appreciation to those who serve in nonprofit roles. Selection is based on a record of dedicated commitment to the nonprofit sector, professional accomplishments, and talent in fostering collaborative relationships.

In addition to the Renaissance Award, the Foundation's financial reporting for 2017 was released to the public at the annual meeting. With total assets exceeding $157 million comprised of permanent charitable endowments that are available for local grantmaking; the foundation awarded $8.4 million in grants and scholarships and received more than $5.6 million in contributions. A complete annual report can be found at

The following were elected to the Board for a four-year term:

Kola Akindele
Matilde Castiel
Maria Heskes-Allard

The following were elected as new Corporators for a five-year term:

Alex Bartholomew
Maureen Binienda
Micki Davis
Heather Forkey
Eve Gilmore
Gloria Hall
Robyn K. Kennedy
Cheryl Lapriore
Richard Lavey
Patrick Maloney
Edward F. Manzi Jr.
Luis G. Pedraja
Emily Rosenbaum
James M. Salois
Elizabeth J. Tripp
Cesar A. Vega
Mark R. Wetzel