Larson Visits Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

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Senator Larson visits Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation with Newman's Own to highlight the passage of legislation.

Today, Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) joined Bob Forrester (President and CEO, Newman’s Own Foundation and Co-chairman of Newman’s Own, Inc.) and Eliot Russman (President, CEO, and Executive Director, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation) at the Fidelco headquarters in Bloomfield to discuss the recent passing of his bill, the Philanthropic Enterprise Act, into law and its positive impact for the future of companies like Newman’s Own that donate 100 percent of their profits to charitable organizations, like the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation that serve the blind and blind veterans.

“I want to thank Bob and Eliot for their passion and dedication to helping others through their organizations. It is the work of companies like Newman’s Own and organizations like Fidelco Guide Dogs that strengthen our communities. Bob and I first began our work together in 2009 and when it became clear that it would take a legislative fix, I worked with my Republican colleague, Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), to introduce the Philanthropic Enterprise Act in 2012. We are proud that it has finally become law. This goes to show what can be achieved when both parties find common ground and get something done for those who are doing so much to help others. I believe that this legislation will open doors for other companies that wish to give more, but have been unnecessarily burdened by the punitive tax issue that my bill has now fixed,” said Larson.

“As I began my efforts in Congress, my very first meeting was with Congressman Larson on March 25, 2009. Without hesitation he said he would do everything within his power to save Newman’s Own from being broken up, since it was important for Connecticut and good public policy in general,” said Robert Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation and Co-chairman of Newman’s Own, Inc. “Since that time Congressman Larson has been indispensable to our efforts to pass the Philanthropic Enterprise Act. He relentlessly fought for this legislation that allows Newman’s Own to continue its philanthropic mission in its current structure, as our founder Paul Newman intended. On behalf of all businesses that donate 100% to charity, I would like to thank Congressman Larson for making it possible to continue our work without the lingering threat of punitive taxes.”

“Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is dedicated to the limitless potential of its clients; men and women who are blind and who thrive with their guide dogs in a world that presumes the ability of everyone to see,” said Eliot Russman, President and CEO of Fidelco Guide Dogs. “Our success creating these dynamic, life-enhancing partnerships would not be possible without our dedicated staff and volunteers, and passionate supporters like Newman’s Own Foundation and Congressman John Larson leading the way.”

The Philanthropic Enterprise Act was recently passed as a part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and was signed into law. This was a terrific win for Connecticut, the country, companies like Newman’s Own, and the charitable organizations that benefit from philanthropic enterprises. For several years, Congressman Larson led the effort in the House, along with his colleague Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), to pass legislation to provide a small technical fix in the tax code to support, rather than stand as a barrier to, socially-responsible companies like Newman’s Own and the dozens of other philanthropic businesses they have inspired.

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Julie Unwin
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