The following is text of a news release from the Coast Guard Foundation:
(STONINGTON, Conn.) — The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and well-being of all Coast Guard members and their families, has announced that Tom Niles has committed $1 million to support an endowed scholarship fund. With this commitment the Coast Guard Foundation has established the Thomas H. Niles Education Fund.
As a young man, Niles was fishing in outer Boston Harbor one summer evening when his motor died and he found himself in a rather precarious position; as the tide started to change his boat began to drift farther from shore. He called the Coast Guard on his radio and asked for help to get back to land. A Coast Guard crew from Boston arrived on scene and towed him into Quincy, where he was able to secure his boat and later repair the engine.
“It was really uneventful,” said Niles of the assistance from the Coast Guard on that day. “But I thought, I was fortunate to have their help today, and someday, I’m going to find a way to show my appreciation.”
He never forgot about the help he received from the Coast Guard and continued to enjoy time on the water with family and friends. Over the years, Niles has supported Coast Guard Foundation programs that build strong families. For three summers, his support allowed Coast Guard children from Air Station Cape Cod to attend an Outward Bound program on Thompson Island in Massachusetts. He also helped upgrade a space at the air station with a new bowling alley, providing families a safe place to gather and form community connections. Other gifts supported the foundation’s annual scholarship program, disaster relief outreach, and morale and wellness initiatives for Coast Guard members stationed in remote areas of Massachusetts.
“I’m happy to help propel people forward,” said Niles. “Scholarships for Coast Guard families are important and necessary. It's something we want to support.”
“We are profoundly grateful for Tom and the Niles family’s gift to support Coast Guard children and their higher education goals,” said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation president. “This contribution will have an immediate impact on families and has the real potential to change the trajectory of their lives. It’s a wonderful testament to Tom and his appreciation for the work of the men and women who serve in the United States Coast Guard.”
For more information on the Coast Guard Foundation or its scholarship programs, visit www.coastguardfoundation.org or call (860) 535-0786.