Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

June 19, 2014

Off to a fast start

Ironstone Farm rises to $500,000 match challenge

When Doug and Diana Berthiaume told the leaders of Ironstone Farm they would match up to $500,000 in large gifts to its capital campaign, they gave the Andover organization three years to raise the money.

Eight months later, the match is complete.

Ironstone Farm is home to two nonprofits that use the power of horses to augment therapy for children with special needs, combat veterans, cancer survivors and other individuals.

The completion of the match challenge is one of the successes from the first year of Ironstone Farm’s multi-year capital campaign to further improve its nonprofit programs, facilities and reach.

“Completing the match so quickly is a miracle of miracles that we attribute to an incredibly generous community that rose to this occasion – including our board and advisory board members,” Ironstone Executive Director Deedee O’Brien said in a release. “We need to remember it’s an aggressive campaign and we still have a long way to go. But this gets us off to a great start.”

A recent awareness and fundraising event at the Andover home of Dave Pierre and Nancy Angell helped Ironstone Farm to finish the match.

The wine-tasting party was co-hosted by Emil and Lauren Frei. Among those attending were Ironstone Leadership Committee members Jennifer and Dennis Eckersley, whose media savvy has raised awareness of Ironstone; Hall of Fame broadcaster Susan Wornick, whose speeches at events have inspired record donations; and the duo of Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director, and Drew Weber, Lowell Spinners baseball owner, who combined to create a new event for the organization, the Ironstone Derby, a road race and Kentucky Derby party held last month at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

Donations at the Pierre/Angell house party brought Ironstone within shouting distance of the match-challenge finish line. The final $25,000 needed to reach the half-million-dollar mark was donated, fittingly, by Andy Stevens, whose late husband, Ed Stevens, served as a mentor to Ironstone leaders and inspired the nonprofit organization to continue growing.

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