William Froehlich Foundation president Beverly Hall presented several donations to grassroots organisations, during her recent visit to Saba. Over the years, the foundation has contributed to Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF), the Sea and Learn lecture series and the Saba Foundation for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (FPCA), among others.
William Froehlich was a resident of the Pyramid House on The Level for over a decade, and by the accounts of those who knew him, he had developed a great love for the island. He made several donations to the community, yet because of his at times eccentric and rebellious nature, his charitable work here was sometimes marked by rough edges. The mentioned organisations were among Froehlich’s favourite philanthropic endeavours, which his long-time and
trusted friend Beverly Hall still honours through continued support. Wealthy investor, avid pilot, gardener and lover of nature, Froehlich passed away March 20, 2009, in Oxnard, California. Since then, Hall has visited Saba to smooth the rough edges and make sure that the memory of the man is not tarnished by his misinterpreted eccentricity and that his legacy to the community remains intact.
During a live-music event at Queen’s Gardens resort last month, Hall presented a new donation of US $3,000 to SCF park manager Kai Wulf, towards the continuation of conservation. Wulf was very appreciative of the support, which will allow SCF to finish ongoing works behind the Trail Shop. SCF has been involved in establishing an outdoor activity centre for children involved in its after-school programme. The activity centre will also be part of the family- oriented tourism assets of the island.
On a separate occasion, Suzanna van den Elshout and Evette Peterson of FPCA received a $5,000 donation from William Froelich Foundation for their continued work in animal protection. The two said it was their intention to use the funds for purchasing pet supplies, new crates, veterinary medical equipment and emergency medication. Hall recalled in great detail the “relentless” work done by FPCA volunteers and the “impressive dedication” of former volunteers like Judy and Jim Stewart and the continued efforts of Peterson and Van den Elshout.
The Froelich Foundation also donated $5,000 to the Sea and Learn programme, which will allow for the continuation of the lecture series. A frequent visitor to Saba, Hall is also a resident of a small island community, which turned its maritime history and pristine nature into a niche tourism industry. Off Massachusetts’ shores, Nantucket Island is similar to Saba, in surprising ways. Both have small, resilient fishermen communities that had to re-invent themselves as tourist destinations.
Hall said another $5,000 donation will go towards a children’s book, which is to be jointly edited by a Saba resident and a Nantucket resident. Manager of Brigadoon restaurant and an apartment complex in Lower Hell’s Gate, Patricia Chammaa will be involved in editing the book, which is to teach young Sabans about the importance of taking care of their island and to enhance environmental awareness.