Nancy Monette, an Adirondack Foundation Trustee, always can find time for a visit at her Malone office, a tiny command center tucked into a corner of one of her family’s successful businesses, a Mountain Mart gas station, Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, and convenience store on Route 11.
The store happens to be on what was once the site, Nancy points out, of the Monette dairy farm owned by the family of her husband, Bruce. Entrepreneurial and community oriented, she and Bruce have developed with his brothers a multifaceted company that started with Adirondack Energy, a fuel oil delivery business Bruce began in the late 1980s.
Adirondack Energy is at the core of a group of Monette businesses that include, in part, nine Mountain Marts; Adirondack Propane; a Dairy Queen franchise; Adirondack Powersports, a store that sells motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and other outdoor recreation equipment; a storage container rental service; and more recently, Titus Mountain Ski Area. Not to mention ownership of a hotel, restaurant, and liquor store.
For Bruce and Nancy, who met in high school in Malone, their businesses are inextricably tied to the people in the Adirondacks they have had long connections to as neighbors, employees, or customers. With their business growth came their philanthropy. They see giving as a necessary component of success, especially when that success is built in a community in which they have deep roots.
Over time, through their employees and local connections, they heard about more and more needs surfacing in their region, especially needs connected to children. Today, proudly displayed on their website alongside their multiple businesses is Adirondack for Kids, the charitable fund established at Adirondack Foundation in 2009 that Nancy heads.
Adirondack for Kids has become a major community resource fueled by business and individual donations primarily from an annual corporate golf tournament that has brought in hundreds of thousands of charitable dollars. This fund has directed hundreds of grants over the years to help projects big and small that provide for the wellbeing, educational, and recreational needs of children across the region. Among the projects supported have been revitalizing a Malone recreational park, providing winter coats for children, adding an isolette at the hospital, sponsoring school ski programs, and most recently, helping the YMCA establish temporary day care centers in three towns for frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Nancy notes that Adirondack Foundation was a crucial resource in the inception of Adirondack for Kids, recognizing that the costs and legal steps for setting up a traditional foundation are cumbersome. “Our attorney Nathan Race directed me to Cali Brooks and the Adirondack Foundation staff, who helped us create a charitable vehicle at very low cost with high impact.”
Adirondack Foundation, Nancy observes, brings people and organizations together to benefit local communities. In addition to handling the due diligence of grantmaking, “they help find places to put charity to best use. It’s been a great partnership.” One of the ways this happens is by sharing Generous Acts applications that may be of interest. We are honored to facilitate Nancy and Bruce’s generosity and grateful to Nancy for serving on our Board.