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Who We Are

The Viles family managed logging and timber businesses in Maine dating back to the 1700s. William and Elsie made generous philanthropic commitments to the people of Maine and the city they called home, Augusta. When her beloved husband William Payson Viles passed away in 1986, Elsie continued their legacy of philanthropy and 3 years later formed the Elsie & William Viles Foundation in 1990 in accordance Title 13-B M.R.S.A.

Elsie and Bill's gifts were not random; they were personal, thoughtful and connected. Projects they supported had permanence and improved the quality of life, giving guidance and enthusiasm to people, the places and the organizations.

Many organizations benefitted from Elsie and William's vision, support and spirit. Some of their greatest interests and passions are reflected in these organizations:

  • Maine Public Broadcasting Network
  • Camp KV for Kids
  • Cony High School
  • Lithgow Library
  • University of Maine
  • MaineGeneral Medical Center Alfond Center for Health
  • Kennebec Valley Humane Society
  • Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Maine State Museum
  • Kennebec Valley YMCA
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Viles Arboretum

"But to ACT... SO THAT EACH TOMORROW, FINDS US FURTHER THAN TODAY"

(Psalms of Life. Longfellow)

This quote embodies the philosophy of how Elsie and Bill lived their lives. Elsie died in 2013 at the age of 98 and through the Foundation she created, the Viles spirit, support and commitment to the community will continue to live on.