About Fred Beazley & The Foundation
During the first half of the 20th century, when Beazley was 15, he left school and struck out on his own, borrowing $40 to buy a horse-drawn cart and starting a business delivering coal from door to door in Portsmouth. Soon, the young entrepreneur realized that people needed ice, too, and he went on to establish 50 ice factories. He would become a self-made millionaire during a time when millionaires of any stripe were still pretty unusual. Mr. Beazley’s level of success gave him the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the wealthiest and most important men of his time. But he always felt himself to be at a disadvantage to those others because of his educational deficiency.
“It was a dream that Mr. Beazley had to educate as many young people as he possibly could, to give them the opportunity that he didn’t have,” said Judge Richard Bray, Chairman of The Board, which continues to honor Beazley’s memory by administering the estate he left behind and directing funds to worthy community projects.
From the Foundation’s inception in 1948, the needs of the community and young people have been its primary focus, consistent with the concerns of Mr. Fred W. Beazley, the founder.
Healthcare, housing, education, recreation and like concerns have resulted in substantial Foundation grants to an array of organizations and programs serving southeastern Virginia, ranging from recreation centers for both adults and children, to housing projects, endowed college scholarships and human needs.
Today, the Foundation remains privately endowed and neither solicits nor accepts donations.