Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation Final Gifts Include Maine Seacoast Mission

NOTE: This is an edited version of the Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation’s full press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Blake 
Email: [email protected] — Tel.: (415) 250-2129

Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation makes final gifts to five organizations in Maine and Florida. The late Friendly Ice Cream founder’s posthumous generosity is extended to groups in communities he loved.

(Northeast Harbor, ME and Hobe Sound, FL, November 16, 2020) – Trustees of the Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation have announced that four Mount Desert Island (Maine) nonprofits, and one Florida-based organization, are the five recipients of the family foundation’s final gifts, as part of the Blake’s estate plan, in recognition of those groups’ contributions to communities that mattered deeply to the family. Lifelong New Englander Curtis Blake was the legendary co-founder, with his brother Prestley, of Friendly Ice Cream 85 years ago this year.

The Land and Garden Preserve (Mount Desert Island); the Maine Seacoast Mission; the Mount Desert Nursing Association; the Northeast Harbor (ME) Neighborhood House; and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County (FL) are the beneficiaries of gifts totaling $575,000.

Explained Curtis’s daughter and gift administrator Susan Blake, “The Blake family had many happy times on the Island of Mount Desert in the summertime and in Hobe Sound, Florida during the winter months. These final gifts represent an opportunity to give back once more to those communities, and to the year-round residents and groups who make those communities such special places.

Leaders of the organizations expressed their gratitude.

John Zavodny, President of Maine Seacoast Mission, noted that the timing of the gift, just as the organization’s social-outreach vessel, Sunbeam, is heading back into service to the islands of downeast Maine, is meaningful; the Blakes were honorary chairs of the 2018 campaign that supported the ship’s extensive refit. This gift was given in honor of longtime Blake family friend Scott McFarland.

Curtis Blake died in 2019 at the age of 102. His wife Patricia had predeceased him in 2018.

Summed up Susan Blake, “Although my father achieved great wealth during his life, his family was of modest means. He and his brother started Friendly Ice Cream in the middle of the Great Depression, another devastating time for our country. Dad’s success truly was built one five-cent ice cream cone at a time. Just as the people of Springfield, Massachusetts helped the Blake brothers to build their business, these gifts are intended to assist those doing much-needed work for the betterment of all.”

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