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Betty Knox Turns 50: The Betty Knox Foundation, That Is

(Hartford, CT) This year, The Betty Knox Foundation will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary.

Although, Elizabeth “Betty” Knox passed away in 1966, it was also the year where her vision and legacy was born with the establishing of her foundation.

The Betty Knox Foundation devotes their resources to improving the lives of Hartford residents. Often confused with Knox Parks Inc., The Betty Knox Foundation focuses on small, meaningful contributions to the civic and socioeconomic renewal of Hartford by making small grants to programs for which a little amount will have a big impact. The foundation awards grants of up to $2,000 to support project work in the areas of Education, Youth Development, Arts/Culture, Health/Human Services, Recreation or Civics.

To mark the momentous occasion, The Betty Knox Foundation and its Board of Directors have:

  • Unveiled a new logo and website on March 1, 2016 – www.knoxfoundation.org
  • Launched a Social Media campaign using Facebook – facebook.com/The-Betty-Knox-Foundation.

Additionally, the Foundation will provide free rides on the Bushnell Park Carousel during Envisionfest on September 17.

As an active member in Hartford’s civic and political life, Elizabeth “Betty” Knox served six terms on Hartford’s City Council. Her commitment to urban renewal, parks, housing, and the well-being of Hartford’s young residents was the driving influence of her personal, political, and professional lives. She was active in the Hartford League of Women Voters and fought for zoning protection in residential areas, city playgrounds and concerts in the parks. During World War II, she opened a day-care center for working mothers. Betty’s generosity helped establish the Betty Knox apartments near Hartford’s St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center; bring the Bushnell Park carousel to downtown and to establish 20 community gardens in the city.

Betty was born in Hartford on November 1, 1908. She was the daughter of insurance executive Robert C. Knox and his wife Estelle Lethbridge Knox. Betty died in 1966 at the age of 57. Ms. Knox left about $2.5 million in her will for a charitable foundation.

“We are proud of our successes and the many ways we’ve helped continue Betty’s legacy and commitment to Hartford”, said Beth Pite, a long serving board member. “Knox provides flexible, speedy, much needed assistance to small non-profits working with under-served Hartford residents. We’ve seen what a small amount of money can accomplish for the betterment of Hartford. We hope to continue for another 50 years.”

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The Knox Foundation was established in 1966 to carry out the vision of Betty Knox, a Hartford philanthropist, activist and member of the Court of Common Council. The foundation focused on civic engagement/downtown renewal and on beautifying Hartford through horticulture. In 1977, those two distinct areas of interest became separate organizations. The foundation’s assets were divided between Knox Parks (now known as Knox Inc.) and today’s Betty Knox Foundation, dedicated to supporting organizations that help under-served Hartford residents. To learn more visit www.knoxfoundation.org.