Ritchie Presents St. Lawrence County Philanthropist with NYS Senate Commendation Award

Patty Ritchie

December 19, 2019

Allan P. Newell was Honored for His Efforts to Improve the Quality of Life in Northern New York

State Senate Patty Ritchie recently honored St. Lawrence County businessperson and philanthropist Allan P. Newell with the New York State Senate Commendation Award for his efforts to give back to his community and improve the quality of life in Northern New York.

Founded in 1903 in Ogdensburg, the Newell Company began as a manufacturer of curtain rods.  In the years since, the company has become Newell Rubbermaid, Inc, a global marketer of consumer and commercial products such as Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Paper Mate and more. 

Allan Newell, who served in the United States Navy for four years, is a member of the Newell Rubbermaid Board of Directors.  Through his work, he co-founded—and remains the president of the Sweetgrass Foundation, which has provided grants to numerous North Country organizations including the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, the Thompson Park Zoo in Watertown and the Frederic Remington Art Museum. 

The Sweetgrass Foundation also supports numerous musical programs and organizations such as the Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam, the Traditional Arts of Upstate New York and local performance series events.

“We are extremely lucky to have so many fun, educational opportunities here in Northern New York and Allan Newell has played a role in the success of so many of them.  From enhancing area attractions like the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park and the Frederic Remington Art Museum to ensuring students can afford to go to college, the generosity of Allan and his family cannot be overstated,” Senator Ritchie said.

“The New York State Commendation Award is only given to a select few who have made a true, lasting contribution to their community and I cannot think of many others who have done as much for Northern New York as Allan Newell.  I was so proud to present him with this honor.”

In addition to providing scholarships to more than 200 SUNY Potsdam students, Allan also helped establish a scholarship endowment through a personal gift to SUNY Canton.  Newell also helped provide the private funding required to secure the matching state funds for the construction of SUNY Canton’s Newell Veterinary Technology Center.

Allan Newell has also served or is still serving on the board of trustees for numerous local community agencies, including as a trustee for the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton. He continues his commitment to preserving the North Country’s environment as a founding member of Save the River and through his work with the Thousand Islands Land Trust, where he served as a board member for a decade.

The New York State Senate Commendation Award recognizes exceptional people who have made a lasting contribution to their community. Award recipients devote their personal time, energy, creativity and expertise to others.  They also are leaders in their community who enrich the social, health and educational well-being of their fellow citizens.

(In the above picture, Senator Ritchie is seen presenting the “New York State Senate Commendation Award to Allan P. Newell)