Morning Read: Little-known man in Cranberry Lake leaves community $2.5 million

ACT executive director Cali Brooks (L) and Clifton-Fine school administrator Roger Kimmes, whose organization will receive $15,000 a year from the gift. (Photo provided by ACT)

Robert Damoth passed away last year at the age of 76, and his passing created not much of a stir in the tiny village of Cranberry Lake.

But the Adirondack Community Trust has now announced that Mr. Damoth left the community $2.5 million dollars.

The money, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times, will go to benefit many of the Clifton-Fine region’s most important institutions, from the public school to the hospital.

The bequest came as a surprise to its recipients because Mr. Damoth was not well-known and did not give the impression he was well-off.

“He was somewhat of a recluse. He kept to himself,” said Cali E. Brooks, executive director of ACT, Lake Placid, which has invested the fund for stability so it will be a legacy for a long time. “He came up with organizations that were important to him. People were really dumbfounded by this.”

It’s a beautiful story really.  In a tiny rural community, annual grants of $15,000 to various causes could make a huge difference.  Check out the full article, by Martha Ellen, here.

And here’s the full announcement from the Adirondack Community Trust:

Quiet Neighbor Leaves Big Legacy

For Cranberry Lake’s Communities

The Adirondack Community Trust, the community foundation serving the Adirondacks since 1997, is happy to announce a very generous gift that will keep on giving to the people of Cranberry Lake.

Robert Damoth lived such a quiet life that few people knew him.  Yet he felt a strong enough attachment to the Clifton-Fine area to create a wonderful legacy that will benefit its communities in perpetuity.

Mr. Damoth created an endowed fund at the Adirondack Community Trust with his bequest.  ACT has invested the fund for stability, so that it will last a very long time. Every year, starting in 2013, four organizations will each receive a grant in the range of $15,000.

These are the organizations he named:

Clifton-Fine Central School for scholarships to four-year universities or colleges

Clifton Community Library,

Cranberry Lake Fire & Rescue

Clifton-Fine Hospital

Recognizing that he could not foretell what people might need in the future, Mr. Damoth left a fifth portion of the bequest unrestricted.  The use of the $15,000 annual grant from this part of the fund will be determined by the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation, a charitable organization whose board of directors has deep roots in the communities Mr. Damoth cared so much about.

Cali Brooks, Executive Director of the Adirondack Community Trust, has written to and met face-to-face with a representative from each organization to deliver the good news.

The Adirondack Community Trust, one of 700 community foundations across the country, is located in Lake Placid.  It administers more than 200 funds totaling $30 million and makes grants totaling an average of $2 million annually to support a wide range of charities throughout the Adirondacks.  The Board of Directors and staff of ACT are honored to fulfill Mr. Damoth’s wishes by making designated grants to support the communities of Clifton-Fine.

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3 Comments on “Morning Read: Little-known man in Cranberry Lake leaves community $2.5 million”

  1. Larry says:

    What an uplifting, inspiring story. Many people give what they have, whether it be money or time or labor, to the communities they live in and love and ask for nothing, not even recognition, in return. Stories like this and the less dramatic stories of volunteers and donors should always be celebrated because they remind us of the best that we can be.

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  2. Pete Klein says:

    Great story. Generous man.

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  3. Kathy says:

    Beautiful story. A man who truly defines “love thy neighbor”.

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