Jay Ward: Why Adirondack Foundation?

jay ward

Jay Ward, owner of Ward Lumber, at his family's business in Jay, NY.

“I go way back with Adirondack Foundation. I was the chairman of the board at Northern Lights School, which is now in Saranac Lake, but was in Wilmington then. We worked with Cali Brooks then and we set up a fund for Northern Lights School so folks could donate, and it was invested.

“More recently, of course, we worked on the Irene relief funds for Jay and Keene. We did a matching challenge through Adirondack Foundation for our customers and community members and friends. We matched dollar-for-dollar. And for our employees, we matched two-to-one, up to our matching contribution of $5,000. That was really rolling along well. We were progressing toward the $10,000 and things sort of stalled out, and that’s when I got a call from Jason Fuller at Fuller Excavating, and he said, ‘We want to contribute $5,000, too.’ So all of a sudden we had a $10,000 pool that jumpstarted things, raised awareness, and we hit close to $20,000. So we were able to turn our intent into a much bigger thing. It was exciting to join with customers, friends, neighbors to give back.

“It’s important for me to give back because this is where I live. This is where we make our home, raise our families – these are our friends and customers. It’s important, if one’s able to, to be able to contribute, to give back.

“It’s not really the amount, it’s the effort, the intent – it’s the act of giving – that I feel excited about. It’s contagious.”