Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket receives $5.1 million bequest

Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket receives $5.1 million bequest

PAWTUCKET – The Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has received a $5.1 million gift from the estate of longtime club benefactors Edward W. “Ned” and Eleanor F. Barlow.

The bequest is the largest single philanthropic gift in the club’s 118-year history. Ned Barlow, who died in 2010, and Eleanor, who died in 2016, were deeply committed to the organization’s mission, investing generously in the club and serving as leaders and visionaries, according to a release.

“Though the Barlows did not have children of their own, over the years, their generosity has created hope and opportunity for thousands and thousands of youth,” states the release.

Ned Barlow was the president of the Seekonk Lace Company in Pawtucket and the Rhode Island Lace Company in Barrington. A 1949 graduate of Brown University, he was a member of the Brown swim team and an active member of the community.

Eleanor Barlow was also passionate about helping others and giving back to the community. A registered nurse, she was the nursing supervisor of the operating rooms at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and a founding member of the Memorial Hospital Corporation. A longtime member of the club’s board of directors and board president for 20 years, Ned was committed to continuing his uncle, George R. Ramsbottom’s, legacy. Ramsbottom donated the original 65 acres of the scenic 167-acre property in Rehoboth, Mass., known today as Camp Ramsbottom, which the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket has operated for more than 50 years.

In 2015, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket opened the doors to its newly renovated and expanded clubhouse, located at 1 Moeller Place in Pawtucket. The Building Better Futures Project renovated the existing 42,000-square-foot building and added a state-of-the-art 18,000-square-foot teen center and gymnasium, doubling the space dedicated to teens. Dedicated space for the visual and performing arts was also added. Through the club’s Building Better Futures Capital & Endowment Campaign, $8 million was raised to support the project, which left just under $1 million to be financed.

Through the gift from the Barlows, the club will pay off the mortgage, with the balance restricted to Camp Ramsbottom. As a result of the gift, a full renovation of the camp’s swimming pool is currently underway, a fitting tribute to Ned and his longtime love of swimming. The remaining use of the camp funds is currently under consideration.

“A bequest like this is something that an organization only dreams of, and we are deeply humbled by the Barlows’ generosity and also their trust in this organization,” said James Hoyt Jr., the club’s CEO. “Their gift is truly transformational and will have a lasting impact on thousands of club members and campers, both now and in the future.”