Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Le Foyer Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / February 3, 2016 /   Loading Disqus...
For nearly 80 years, Le Foyer Club members were committed to fulfilling the Club’s mission “to promote and develop the intellectual, social, religious, economic, civic, and national activities of Americans of French descent and to promote French culture.”

“The purpose of the Club was to help integrate the French Canadian people into a welcoming community,” explains Roger Bonin, Le Foyer’s president, noting there was a major influx of French Canadians into the Pawtucket and Central Falls areas in the early 1900s.

In the early years, Le Foyer organized social events, sponsoring concerts, bazaars, raffles, dances, cribbage, bowling, and golf leagues. They also hosted dignitaries from Canada and France, gave testimonial dinners, and held literary discussions. Activities – both cultural and social – continued through the decades at Le Foyer’s building overlooking I-95 in Pawtucket.

In 1943, the Club set up a scholarship fund, which later became a separate nonprofit organization, Le Foyer Educational Loan Trust. From the 1980s to 2014 the Educational Loan Trust provided interest-free loans for local students to fund higher education expenses.

Throughout the course of Le Foyer Club history, the Club represented French Canadians from the five major parishes in the Pawtucket/Central Falls neighborhoods, at one time boasting more than 1,000 members. However, like many social organizations, membership waned in the 1990s.

“We came to realize we had fulfilled our mission,” Denise Rodriguez, chairwoman of the board of trustees of Le Foyer Educational Loan Trust, says of the decision to dissolve both organizations. With their remaining assets, the two organizations have established this fund to benefit the American-French Genealogical Society (AFGS) in Woonsocket.

“It seemed like a good fit for us. The AFGS was one of the many clubs that developed through Le Foyer membership. By establishing an endowment under the stewardship of the Rhode Island Foundation, AFGS will always have resources available for academic and/or community programs to promote and preserve French language and culture,” Roger acknowledges.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Making science come alive Posted last month
    Thanks to our Carter Spark Grant, Narragansett Elementary School students just learned a lot about life around Narragansett Bay. Special education teacher Karen Festa used the grant to bring Save the Bay’s living “Bay Classroom Experience” to school.
  • Roger Williams' ideals come to life in scholarship recipients Posted last month
    The Rhode Island Foundation is sending seven high school seniors off to college with scholarships honoring Roger Williams, the state’s founding father.The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched last year by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Carter fellowships inspire innovation Posted 2 months ago
    The recipients will receive $200,000 over four years to test and implement their proposals to dramatically improve life in Rhode Island thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Grants will improve health of RI'ers Posted 3 months ago
    Our RIGHA Foundation Fund awards more than $280,000 in grants to promote primary health care.
  • Introducing moves to fuel growth and expansion Posted 4 months ago
    We are launching a new grantmaking opportunity, refining our strategic priorities, adopting impact targets and adding new staff positions to support work with partners, donors, nonprofits and community leaders.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up