Boldt Great-Grandson Continues Support of Jefferson County Students for Two Years of Study
CLAYTON — Two Jefferson County high school members of the class of 2022 were recently honored as recipients of the Northern New York Community Foundation George C. Boldt Scholarship.
Elizabeth A. M. Hellings, Indian River High School, and Cody M. Wade, also Indian River High School, were each awarded a two-year $10,000 scholarship during a reception in Clayton with George C. Boldt’s great-grandson, Malcolm Goodridge, and great-great-grandson, Charlie Goodridge.
The scholarship honors the legacy of the castle’s builder, noted hotelier and philanthropist George C. Boldt Sr. Mr. Goodridge has led efforts to establish the scholarship with other descendants of Mr. Boldt and dozens of North Country donors who have made gifts to the scholarship fund at the Community Foundation.
“We feel honored to continue to be part of the stewardship of the Boldt legacy in a way that directly impacts the lives of local students,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “The Goodridge family, with the support of many others, has helped create a scholarship that carries with it much more than financial assistance in a way that reinforces a story so deeply tied to this region.”
Mr. Goodridge congratulated the Class of 2022 and thanked those who have helped build the scholarship and, with his son, Charlie, presented awards to this year’s recipients. A permanent plaque that pays tribute to founding donors was installed in Boldt Castle in 2019 along with a plaque that names recipients of the Boldt Scholarship. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, which owns and operates Boldt Castle as a leading tourist destination, has generously supported the scholarship program since its inception.
“You join an elite group of young men and women as Boldt scholars today,” Mr. Goodridge said. “The challenges you have overcome on your road to success have prepared you well for the next step in your journey. Education will help move you to your destination while opening doors you never knew could open for you.”
Mr. Goodridge said his great-grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Prussia at age 13, “believed in people who showed promise throughout his life in business.” Mr. Goodridge said, adding that he is encouraged by how the new recipients have persevered while facing obstacles in their young lives as Mr. Goodridge did, learning to manage dyslexia as a young man while studying at Hobart College.
“I know George Boldt is smiling with great pride today for both of this year’s scholars,” Mr. Goodridge said.
About this year’s George C. Boldt Scholars
Elizabeth A.M. Hellings graduated with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors in Science. She began her freshman year at SUNY Cortland this month where she studies speech and hearing science. She plans to pursue a career as a speech pathologist. Elizabeth is a National Honor Society member and participated on the Whiz Quiz team, Horizons, and served as a Backpack Program volunteer. Elizabeth is a three-sport athlete, competing for four years in varsity soccer, volleyball, and softball. She was a soccer and volleyball team captain and a Frontier League All-Star in all three sports and earned the “Heart of a Warrior” distinction in soccer. Elizabeth is the daughter of Janice and Seth Hellings, LaFargeville.
Cody M. Wade graduated with an Advanced Regents Diploma in Science. He attends Syracuse University where he studies biology. He plans to pursue a career as a forensic investigator. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society who participated in marching band for five years, serving as an assistant drum major. He is also a six-year member of the Boy Scouts and served as a Scout leader for two years. Cody is a multi-sport athlete who competed in track and field, cross country, and swimming. He is active in community service, having volunteered for numerous programs and organizations including a feed-the-veterans operation. Cody is spending his fall semester studying in Florence, Italy, with Syracuse University’s Discovery Florence Program. He is the son of Cara Aguirre and stepson of Darwin Aguirre, Theresa.
About the George C. Boldt Scholarship
Following a summer 2017 family gathering at Boldt Castle, descendants of famed hotelier George C. Boldt, led by Mr. Goodridge, decided to create a permanent scholarship fund to forever benefit Jefferson County students. The Northern New York Community Foundation was selected to administer the scholarship, which honors Mr. Boldt’s legacy of service.
Mr. Boldt, (1851-1916) a one-time proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, is known for his influence on development of the urban hotel as a civic social center and luxury destination. He and his family also left a philanthropic legacy that, among other things, emphasized education.
In 1922, Mr. Boldt’s son, George C. Jr., established a scholarship program at Cornell University that bears his father’s name. According to an April 24, 1923, story in the “Cornell Daily Sun,” the elder Mr. Boldt “always sympathized with an eager student whose only impediment to higher education was a lack of funds.” During his lifetime, Mr. Boldt also helped put at least 75 people through college, doing so anonymously. It is fitting that this legacy continues through the Northern New York Community Foundation George C. Boldt Sr. Scholarship.
Jefferson County residents pursuing full-time undergraduate study — either in college, technical, vocational, or trade school — may apply. Applications are accepted from high school seniors or nontraditional students. The scholarship was expanded in 2021 to a two-year award of up to $10,000 with three awards this year. Recipients are chosen based on academic performance, personal data, essay scores, and letters of recommendation. Students should show promise and potential and have demonstrated an interest in and service to their communities.
Past recipients of the Northern New York Community Foundation George C. Boldt Scholarship include, from the Class of 2019: Matthew Ford and Dylan O’Connor, Alexandria Central High School, and Abrianna Parson, Watertown High School; from the Class of 2020: Ashley St. Croix, Thousand Islands High School; and Mya Weaver and Makayla Witt, Alexandria Central High School; and from the Class of 2021: Hayden Augliano, Watertown High School; Jason J. Badalato, Carthage Senior High School; and Gabrielle “Ellie” Hyde, Alexandria Central High School.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.