This is the first of several stories that lead up to the May 9, 2018 Albion Community Foundation Gala celebrating 50 years since the foundation started in Albion.
By LINDA KOLMODIN
February 28, 2018
It took a visionary, dedicated to the betterment of his adopted hometown, to create a 50-year philanthropic legacy for Albion.
That visionary was Thomas T. Lloyd and his creation is the current Albion Community Foundation.
From this vision of the Albion Civic Foundation, established with Lloyd’s donation of “remainder interest” in Hayes-Albion Corporation stock valued at $100,000, the current foundation has grown and now manages over $5 million in assets.
Established by this philanthropist, the beginnings of today’s Albion Community Foundation (ACF) started in the late-60s as an idea using the Jackson Community Foundation as a guideline. Lloyd envisioned an endowment to be used for the enrichment of the people of the City of Albion and the surrounding areas of Albion, Sheridan, Marengo, Parma and Concord townships. When the foundation was incorporated in October, 1968, the stated purpose was to “receive, retain, collect, invest, and reinvest funds and other property and to distribute the income” to be used for the public welfare and to benefit of the residents of Albion and the surrounding communities.
Named as trustees of the newly established foundation were leading industrial and financial leaders of Albion including Victor Burstein, Mayor; Paul Ewbank, President of Union Steel Products: James Boughter, plant manager of Corning Glass Works and Frank Costello, president of the Albion Branch of City Bank and Trust Co.
Joining these board members were at-large trustees Richard Weatherford, local merchant; Thomas Feldpaush, vice president of Felpaush Foods; Blair Bedient, publisher of the Albion Evening Recorder, and David Farley, partner in Farley Brothers Nurseries.
Using background information from his book, Presenting 25 Years of the Albion Civic Foundation, author Frank Passic wrote that an announcement in the Albion Evening Recorder publicly stated the goals of the new group. “If the Foundation is successful in its aims, Albion and her surrounding community will be a better place in which, to live, work, and enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment”.
It was also reported that Lloyd’s will would provide for a substantial contribution to the Foundation. In 1981 he named the ACF a beneficiary of his estate with a bequest of $413,956. For the first few years of existence, the Civic Foundation operated as private foundation, with its source of income primarily from its founder. In 1974, the foundation became a publicly supported foundation with at least one third of its income from public giving. It is now the oldest community foundation in Calhoun County. The current executive director is Tim Krause.
But who was this visionary who founded the present day ACF? Lloyd had deep roots in Albion. His maternal grandfather was the Hon. Washington Gardner (1845-1928) who was the Michigan Secretary of State in the early 1890s and a U.S. Congressman. In 1888, Gardner was one of the founders of the Albion Malleable Iron Company. The family continued with Malleable roots with Lloyd becoming the executive vice-president of Albion’s largest industry. The Malleable became Hayes-Albion Corporation.
Through the Gardner family, Lloyd was related by an aunt’s marriage to Harry B. Parker, who was president of the Malleable in the 1920s. Lloyd joined the firm in 1934, and worked his way up the corporate ladder. His brother, Gardner R. Lloyd also joined the Malleable in 1938.
Tom Lloyd was born in Washington D.C. on Nov. 7, 1912 to Thomas Leslie and Helen (Gardner) Lloyd. He spent part of his youth in Albion then attended Culver Military Academy, followed by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He graduated from Cornell University in New York with a degree in architecture. Lloyd practiced architecture in Chicago for a brief time before coming to Albion to join the family business, the Malleable.
In 1940, Lloyd married Mary Wooldridge of Kentucky and the couple had a daughter, Helen Russell, and three sons, Thomas Jr., Sam W., and Duncan H.
Lloyd was not only a leader in industry, but a philanthropist and active community member. He was an organizer of the Albion Junior Chamber of Commerce, first chair of the city planning commission, served on boards of the Albion Community Fund, Albion Industrial Development Corp., and many other organizations. In 1976, Lloyd was named Albion’s Ambassador of Goodwill by the Albion Chamber of Commerce.
This influential citizen retired as executive vice-president of Hayes-Albion and also from the board of trustees after 40 years of service. He died on March 12, 1978, following a long bout with cancer, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.
Without Lloyd’s vision, the first grant in 1970 to the Youth Opportunities Department of the City of Albion for summer employment programs would not have been possible. Since that first grant, the ACF has distributed total grants of over $2.9 million to support the Albion community, not including the $3.7 million historic restoration of the Bohm Theatre.
On May 9, the Albion Community Foundation will honor this visionary, and his legacy to the people of the greater Albion area, with a 50th anniversary gala celebration at the Ismon House beginning with dinner, followed by events at the historic Bohm Theatre and Kids ‘N Stuff, all recipients of substantial grants from the foundation.
Linda Jansen Kolmodin has been a resident of Albion since 1981. Originally from North Muskegon Michigan, she was a special education teacher for Olivet Community Schools for 18 years. Since that time, public relations and writing have been the focus of Kolmodin’s work.
Most recently, the successfully funded Coca-Cola mural restoration project for downtown Albion Michigan benefitted from the volunteer efforts of Linda Kolmodin. She is involved in many Albion organizations including the Albion Community Foundation and the Albion-Homer United Way. She is a graduate of U of M, with a Master’s Degree from EMU in Special Education.
- Stories by Linda Kolmodin – albionmich.net/writer-kolmodin/
- The Coca-Cola mural restoration project:
This story is reprinted with permission from The Recorder.
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