Sunday, November 18, 2007

Harold Alfond leaves a long legacy of giving

Born in 1914, Harold Alfond, one of Maine's most well-known and beloved benefactors passed away on Friday. Several of Maine's colleges and universities were honored with sizable donations by the founder and former owner of Dexter Shoe. Quite frankly, it's hard to imagine sports in Maine without the contributions this man made, which totalled well into the multi-millions of dollars. Alfond was also a former part owner of the Boston Red Sox. Perhaps the most significant of his donations was the one that created Alfond Arena. (show above) In 1977, The University of Maine was ready to make the jump to Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey. Alfond's generous donation enabled the university to build the original arena with 3,500 seats and later expand to 5,500. Two national titles later, it is one of the most feared home ice arenas in all of college hockey. Along with several other structures on the Orono campus, Alfond also contributed sports facilities and educational centers to St. Joseph's College, The University of New England, Husson College, and Colby College. Harld Alfond's legacy will live on and his passion for sports in the state of Maine will be fondly remembered.