Founded in 1950, the Harold Alfond Foundation furthers the philanthropic legacy of Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company and a longtime supporter of Maine communities in which he and his family worked and resided. Harold Alfond awarded matching challenge grants to organizations to build community partnerships and to inspire and leverage additional giving by others. He ensured that his philanthropy would live on by committing nearly all of his wealth to the Foundation, which continues to support charitable causes in the State of Maine.
Consistent with Harold Alfond’s own giving pattern and philanthropic principles, the Foundation favors education, healthcare, youth development, and other selected charitable causes. The Foundation applies Harold Alfond’s business approach to funding decisions, his belief in teamwork, and his love of competition by continuing to award matching challenge grants to projects that meet a demonstrable need, are entrepreneurial, promote teamwork, have measurable performance outcomes, are financially viable, and have quality management and board leadership.
Major grants have been made to:
- Build athletic facilities for public and private colleges and universities and private secondary schools in the State of Maine, including:
- Alfond Ice Arena, Alfond Outdoor Track, Harold Alfond Athletic Center, and Harold Alfond Stadium at Colby College
- Alfond Hockey Arena, Shawn Walsh Hockey Center, and Harold Alfond Sports Stadium at the University of Maine
- Harold Alfond Student Recreation Center at St. Joseph’s College
- Harold Alfond Diamond at the Winkin Sports Complex at Husson College
- Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College
- Alfond Athletic Center and Alfond Athletic Fields at Kents Hill School
- Harold Alfond Forum at the University of New England
- Establish the Harold Alfond College Challenge, a first-in-the-nation program which offers college scholarship grants of $500 to every Maine resident baby under one year of age;
- Build the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, which consolidated MaineGeneral Medical Center’s comprehensive cancer care programs in Central Maine into a single 59,000-square-foot facility, equipped with the latest technology, and designed to offer multi-specialty treatment and care coordination;
- Build MaineGeneral Medical Center's 640,000 square foot new regional hospital—which, when completed in 2013, will provide state-of-the-art care through the use of the latest technologies and procedures and all-private rooms for patients—and convert the Thayer hospital in Waterville into a comprehensive outpatient center;
- Build and endow the Alfond Youth Center, the nation’s only combined Boys & Girls Club and YMCA;
- Construct the University of New England’s Center for Health Sciences, which houses Maine’s only state-based medical school, and the Harold Alfond Forum, an athletics and student life center;
- Create a Children’s Garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens;
- Assist the Maine Community College System in purchasing 13 buildings and 600 acres at Good Will-Hinckley to enable Kennebec Valley Community College to serve an additional 1,500 to 2,000 students; and,
- Support the launch and operations of the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley, Maine’s first charter school.