In 1987, a group of prominent community leaders, including Irving Rogers, Jr., Judge E. Fenton, Jr., Rev. John Deegan, O.S.A., Betty Beland and Tom Caffrey, established the Greater Lawrence Community Foundation. Their vision was to support nonprofits who serve Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Amesbury, Salisbury and all of the Valley's communities. In 1995, with a new level of outreach, its name was changed to the Merrimack Valley Community Foundation. In 2004, the Foundation merged its $1.3 million in assets with Essex County Community Foundation and became the Merrimack Valley General Fund.
In 2017 the scope of the funding area was focused to just the towns of Lawrence, Methuen, Andover and North Andover and the name was changed to the Greater Lawrence Community Fund.
The fund continues in the mission it was founded for: that people local to the valley would direct these philanthropic monies to local agencies and causes. Today the grants committee boasts members with deep roots in the community, a number of whom have been involved in the fund since its foundation days.
2016 Greater Lawrence Community Fund Grants Committee
Rick Blain, North Andover
Peter Caruso, Andover
Sheila Doherty, Andover
William (Bill) Gillen, Andover
Patricia Karl, North Andover
Walkiria Manzueta, Methuen
William (Bill) Masterson, North Andover
Daniel Murphy, North Andover
Marianne Paley Nadel, Chestnut Hill
John Smolak, North Andover