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Warren Heritage Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / October 16, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...

Walking around historic downtown Warren, the work supported by the Warren Heritage Foundation is quickly evident, from the restored steeple of the First United Methodist Church (a Greek Revival structure built in 1845) to renovations at the nearby Baptist Church (founded in 1764 and the first home of Brown University; the current Early Victorian Gothic style church was built in 1844), the Masonic Temple (a Classic Federal style, built in 1799, and the second oldest lodge in the United States), and the Historic Warren Armory (an Early Victorian Gothic structure built in 1842).

The Warren Heritage Foundation was founded five years ago. Board President and Treasurer Marcia Blount explains, “Many of us have lived here all our lives and our families go back generations. We know the town and its beautiful historic buildings. I began seeing that these buildings needed help – paint, bricks and mortar repairs, new roofs. They literally needed money to stay intact. We’re in the business to raise some of that money.”

The organization’s first fundraiser was held in 2013 at the historic Eddy-Cutler House, now home of Board Secretary Alexander “Sandy” Scott. It raised $10,800. Four years later, the Heritage Foundation hosted a house and garden walking tour. The fundraiser, chaired by Trustee Mark Goldberg, raised $24,000.

The Heritage Foundation awards matching grants up to $5,000 to nonprofits and fraternal organizations that support its mission “to protect, restore, and maintain buildings, structures, sites, and open space possessing historical and architectural significance in the Town of Warren.”

“There are very few organizations that give money for bricks and mortar,” states Trustee Robert Major, with Sandy adding, “Many of the eligible organizations no longer have a base of support.”

“We have a lot of history here, and we want to preserve it,” exclaims Vice President Julie Blount, with Mark noting, “Warren has so many preservation-worthy structures.”

“This endowment fund has been our goal from the beginning. There are people who love this town, and we’re setting up this fund as a vehicle for them to work through. People can feel confident giving to us through the Rhode Island Foundation,” Marcia states.

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