Beneficiaries honor, remember Ed Scott

Half a dozen local organizations that were the beneficiaries of a generous posthumous gift honored the donor at a ceremony held Sunday afternoon at the Skene Manor.

Family, friends and benefactors remembered Ed Scott as a charitable man who never forgot his hometown. The recipients said his gift will help their organizations remain solvent during tough economic times.

Upon his death in July 2011, Scott left $822,000 to six nonprofit organizations in Whitehall.

His sister, Elvira Nuemann, said Whitehall left an indelible mark on her brother’s psyche.

“He was always concerned about his hometown; he was concerned about its future. He thought of the bequests as an investment in his hometown,” she said.

“He literally lived coast to coast and was involved in charities coast to coast but never forgot Whitehall because it was his hometown.”

It was fitting that the ceremony was held at the Skene Manor, a place Scott described as “Whitehall’s jewel.”

“He was particularly interested in the Skene Manor; it was very close to his heart,” Neumann said.

Even before his death, Scott played a silent but important role in the preservation of the manor, making a number of financial contributions that helped volunteers restore the venerable estate to its original grandeur.

He and childhood friend Bob Hoffman were responsible for establishing the Gilly Room, which is dedicated to former Whitehall football coach, principal and superintendent Ambrose Gilligan.

He was also responsible for the restoration of a southward facing wall in the gift shop.

“He’s been an amazing man over the years; what he’s donated over the years, he was a wonderful man,” said Catherine Manuele, head of Skene Manor Preservation Inc.

Manuele said his bequest made it possible to restore the manor’s roof earlier this year and the remaining money has been put aside for future projects.

The result of Scott’s generosity is also visible along Main Street where his gift made it possible for the Whitehall Historical Society to refurbish the bandstand in Riverside Veterans Memorial Park and will allow the organization to replace the roof on the Skenesborough Museum next spring, which will in turn protect the artifacts stored within, said Carol Greenough, heritage area director.

“Ed was very interested in what we were doing at the museum,” Greenough said. “Our goal is to do as much as we possibly can with the money, but not quickly. We are going to watch and preserve what parts of the history of the community we can.”

Karen Gordon, director of the Whitehall Free Library, said the money will help the organization remain solvent in the years to come.

“We’re going to spread it out,” she said.

The board of directors are in the process of having the library’s windows replaced and hope to start a new project to improve the building in the spring.

“It’s helped greatly,” said Marge Mohn.

Scott, who was born in Whitehall and graduated from the local high school in 1954, spent eight years in the Army before earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bentley College. Scott went to embark on a successful career, working in New York City and later San Francisco.

Recognizing the difficult economic times which lie ahead, Scott established an IRA to fund six organizations of his choosing and in the months after his death, distributions from the account were made to the Whitehall Historical Society ($164,580), the Skene Manor ($205,725), the Whitehall Free Library ($164,580), the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company ($41,145), the Skenesborough Emergency Squad ($41,145) and Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church ($82,290).

“He was concerned with Whitehall, which is why left the bequests,” Nuemann said.

During the ceremony, benefactors thanked Nuemann for her brother’s generosity and in turn, she donated one final gift on her brother’s behalf to the manor, a painting by Thomas Kinkade entitled “A Holiday Gathering.”

“This was Ed’s way of saying thanks,” Neumann said.

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