Hines contributes a legacyPublished 11:10pm Saturday, January 4, 2014
It was originally meant to be an anonymous gift, but the seed money Angus I. Hines Jr. provided for the Suffolk Foundation has gained him a good deal of publicity lately.
He was recognized at the foundation’s annual community luncheon in November, but the area native said his contribution was not meant to bring him attention.
“I certainly didn’t do it for the notoriety,” he said. “It was supposed to have been anonymous. But how do you keep anything in little old Suffolk anonymous? Over time, word leaked out.”
Hines is a World War II veteran of the Merchant Marines, having served in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea. He was on the School Board in the 1960s and has four children.
Until 2008, he ran a company started by his father that included Sentry truck stops and convenience stores, wholesale customers and the Greensville Transport trucking line.
He broke up the company and sold it five years ago, which was around the time the Suffolk Foundation was getting started through his efforts and those of many others.
“We just wanted to do something for our little community here,” he said, adding the board had noticed the “blessing” that the Norfolk Foundation — renamed the Hampton Roads Community Foundation four years ago when it merged with a Virginia Beach-centric foundation — has been to the region.
Hines’ significant gift — he declined to say for the record just how much — helped give the foundation enough funds to get off the ground. But many others have contributed, he said.
“The community’s been good,” he said. “It’s a community effort.”
Among his favorite causes supported by the Suffolk Foundation are those that help young people attain educational goals, he said.
He felt especially drawn to give back to the community after selling his company, he added.
“You take a living out of a community, I think you’re morally bound to contribute back to it,” he said. “We always believed in being good community citizens.”
The Suffolk Foundation continues to increase its commitment to the community. In its most recent round of grants, it gave a record amount — $105,000 — to a record number of nonprofit agencies — 25 — and, in addition, gave its single largest gift ever to the Salvation Army for the purchase of a generator for the organization’s new Robert W. Harrell Jr. Physical Health and Education Center.
Causes typically supported by the foundation include education, the arts, the environment, health and human needs.
For more information on the Suffolk Foundation, call 923-9090.