Redwood News: Redwood Newsmakers is being brought to you by your local U.S. Cellular stores. The North Coast is home. to quite a few philanthropic organizations focusing on empowering local communities with funding and leadership and support. Meet Dennis Scott, President of the McLean Foundation and Denise Marshall foundation grant director. Thanks for having us. Welcome.
Redwood News: Dennis, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the McLean Foundation?
Dennis Scott: Sure. I came here to work for Mel and Grace McLean in 1977, and Mel was a great entrepreneur. At one time, we had over 500 employees, ran four mills, and built Fairhaven Power Company. So, it was just a great place to work. And when they passed away, we formed the McLean Foundation. They didn’t have many relatives anywhere, and so they left $20 million to this community. And it’s been our job to manage it and provide services like they would have liked.
Redwood News: Denise, can you tell us the mission of the McLean Foundation?
Denise Marshall: Well, the McLean’s wanted to give back to the community, especially in the latter part of their life. So they developed a foundation and they really wanted to support the Eel River Valley.
Redwood News: You have big news, so it’s a really good news for the Eel River Valley.
Denise Marshall: So we were able to give a large grant to a local organization and it wasn’t a budgeted amount. It was something that came through our investments. That was kind of a surprise. And we are able now to support the Fortuna Senior Center with a grant of $500,000 that will get them into their new facility.
Redwood News: Dennis, how is this able to come about?
Dennis Scott: Well, you know, Fortuna Senior Center has been one of our organizations we supported from the beginning, and they’ve been a tenant in this building for a few years and they really needed more space and they needed they have over 500 members and they started building this building probably in a terrible time with inflation, high stock market dropping. And we elected to go forward to help them complete their building so they can leave, and they have their own home.
Redwood News: What are the future plans for the foundation?
Denise Marshall: Well, we have a lot of irons in the fire, so we are looking at projects that will enhance the quality of life for people in the river valley. So news to come.
Redwood News: Denise Marshall and Dennis Scott from the McLean Foundation. Thanks for having us today. Pleasure. You’re welcome.