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John & Lillian Clegg Charitable Fund
By Jean Cohoon / May 14, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

It’s not uncommon for individuals who serve on nonprofit boards to work with the Foundation to establish funds to benefit the charities they helped lead. But John Clegg’s involvement with the organizations he and his wife, Lillian, are choosing to support – the Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick and Button Hole – runs much deeper, as John shares that he helped found both youth-serving organizations.

Born and raised in Warwick, John attended what then was Gorton High School where he met Lillian, who had lived in Warwick since she was an infant. John went on to Providence College, then served in the Korean War before joining a Boston-based CPA firm. Five years later he established North Kingstown-based John W. Clegg & Company, a CPA and business consulting firm. Lillian was a homemaker and stay-at-home mother for the couple’s two children. She later was employed by the Warwick School Department for 21 years.

Of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick, John says, “I go back to the beginning of time with them. We started from nothing to create something, as there was nothing for kids in Warwick.” Founded in 1963, the organization now provides licensed daycare, before and after school care, and summer and school vacation camps to its more than 1,400 members. 

A second initiative that garnered John’s attention was the establishment of Button Hole, a youth-focused, nine-hole golf course in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood. “I was impressed with what Ed Mauro (Button Hole’s founder) was trying to do. At that stage (late 1990s), it was just a hole in the ground,” John recalls. He remains on the board of directors of Button Hole, which has served more than 18,000 youth in its first 17 years.

John now is retired, and the Cleggs divide their time between Florida and Rhode Island, but remain committed to their Rhode Island roots. “Lillian and I came from humble beginnings, and we’re happy with how things turned out for us and that we’re able to help others.”

Having referred clients to the Foundation, he states, “I couldn’t think of a better place to put our money than the Rhode Island Foundation.”

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