MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In tonight’s Ransom Note: the closing of the Plough Foundation. You’ve probably heard of it, and Monday we learned that in four years it will disband.
Like family-based foundations often do, they run their course. But that will affect countless causes, from MIFA to LeBonheur, to all three major Memphis colleges, and nearly every arts organization, causes that rely on annual gifts in the thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Memphian Abe Plough’s fortune was behind the Foundation. He started with nothing, but Plough, Incorporated, would create St. Joseph aspirin, Dr. Scholl’s foot products, and Coppertone suntan lotion.
The company later became Schering-Plough, moved to New Jersey and is now part of the pharmaceutical giant, Merck.
But Abe kept his money here, and when his grandchildren disband the foundation, all the assets will stay here, spread among causes in Memphis and Shelby County.
It’s easy to begrudge people with a lot of money, but not someone who gives back the way Abe Plough and his family did. Let’s hope others will now stand up and help the community that helped them.