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News

The Roger and Kay Sullivan legacy of giving continues after their deaths

Dan McClelland

Even after their deaths, Roger and Kay Sullivan continue to contribute generously to important charitable and educationalprojects in Tupper Lake.
For decades Roger and Kay, owners of the O.W.D. Inc. plastic utensil industry on Demars Blvd., were major supporters of almost every local volunteer service and public organization. Agencies and organizations like the Tupper Lake Rescue and Ambulance Squad, the Tupper Lake Food Pantry, Catholic Charities, the local hospital,  the Goff Nelson Memorial and others, routinely benefited from their generosity.  Their list of annual giving was as long as it was generous- each year representing tens of thousands of dollars.
They also donated thousands of dollars in local scholarships to graduating seniors here over the years.
In the 1990s Roger and Kay, who were very spiritual people,  created a private foundation called Infant Jesus of Prague, Inc. to continue their charitable gifts long after their deaths.
Directed by their attorney and friend, Jeremiah Hayes, and a small board consisting of Donna Sloan and Mary Sparks Dattola, the foundationgives out between $40,000 and $50,000 each year that goes to local educational and charitable projects, including the work of local not for profits.
The foundation also supports two high school scholarships totaling $6,000 each year.  Each year two recipients receive $1,000 per year towards their two-year and four-year degrees.
Part of this year's giving was a $2,500 check to the Tupper Lake Lions Bandshell fund- the largest donation to the new campaign to date.
Last week Mr. Hayes stopped by the Free Press office to present the foundation's check to Lions Club President Dan McClelland. They are pictured above reviewing the architectural drawings of the proposed bandshell prepared by Architect Andrew Chary of Tupper Lake.
“Roger and Kay were wonderful people...and great benefactors here,” Mr. Hayes said in delivering the campaign gift.
The money couldn't come at a better time in the Lions campaign of past weeks, explained Mr. McClelland.
“It put us over the $10,000 mark and to a point when all future gifts qualify for a two for one match through the generosity of another local family, which posted a matching challenge last week for the next $10,000 raised.
All donations this month to the Woodmen Life Red Basket program will be matched through the new challenge, as will all proceeds from at least three events planned here- the Brewing for Bandshell at Raquette River Brewery, the Fourth Annual Film Night and the Tupper Lake performance of “The Messiah” on Friday, December 23 at 7p.m. Presented by George and Liz Cordes of High Peaks Opera, the musical will bring together some of the best singers from the tri-lakes villages for a community sing of Handel's popular classic piece.     
Woodmen Life members who donated through Red Basket will also see every $25 donated doubled through the not for profit agency.
“We're very grateful to Roger and Kay for putting us at a level to take advantage of this great new challenge,” Mr. McClelland told Mr. Hayes last week.  “I think they would both have very much enjoyed the bandshell we envision and the great outdoor performances it will bring to our future summers!”
Donations to the bandshell campaign can be made on-line at tupperlake.com/bandshell. Woodmen members should make sure to click the “match” button.  Checks can be sent directly to Red Basket at 1700 Farnam St., Omaha, Nebraska 68102-2007 or can be dropped off to Mr. McClelland at the Free Press office, 136 Park St., Tupper Lake.
All donations are tax deductible.