News // Feb 19, 2020

Tom Niles Commits $1 Million to the Coast Guard Foundation

  • Jennifer Crowley Fyke

Support will endow a scholarship fund in his name

Tom Niles, a Coast Guard Foundation supporter for more than a decade, is just one example of what happens when the Coast Guard lends a hand and saves a life.

As a young man, Tom was fishing in outer Boston Harbor one summer evening when his motor died, and he found himself in a rather precarious position as the tide started to change, and his boat began to drift further from shore. He called the Coast Guard on his radio and asked for help to get back to dry land. A Coast Guard crew from Boston arrived on scene and towed him into Quincy, where he was able to secure his boat and later repair the engine.

“It was really uneventful,” shared Tom, of the assistance from the Coast Guard on that summer day. “But I thought, I was fortunate to have their help today, and someday, I’m going to find a way to show my appreciation.”

Tom went on to get married and raise a family and worked in his family’s business, The Niles Company, and then started his own real estate management and development company, which later morphed into Boston Residential Group.

He never forgot about the help he received from the Coast Guard and continued to enjoy time on the water with family and friends.


2015 Bowling Dedication Cape Cod
Dedication of a refurbished bowling alley at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

Over the years, Tom has supported Coast Guard Foundation programs that build strong families. For three summers, Coast Guard children from Air Station Cape Cod attended an Outward Bound program on Thompson Island in Massachusetts. A space at the air station was upgraded with a new bowling alley, providing families a safe place to gather and form community connections. Other gifts supported the Foundation’s annual scholarship program, disaster relief outreach, and morale and wellness initiatives for Coast Guard members stationed in remote areas of Massachusetts.

Investing in the Coast Guard Foundation’s scholarship program is a natural progression in Tom’s support to the men and women who serve in the Coast Guard.

“I’m happy to help propel people forward,” shared Tom. “Scholarships for Coast Guard families are important and necessary. It's something we want to support.”

With Tom’s $1 million commitment the Coast Guard Foundation has established the Thomas H. Niles Education Fund.

“We are profoundly grateful for Tom and the Niles family’s gift to support Coast Guard children and their higher education goals,” said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation president. “This contribution will have an immediate impact on families and has the real potential to change the trajectory of their lives. It’s a wonderful testament to Tom and his appreciation for the work of the men and women who serve in the United States Coast Guard.”

Niles Outward Bound
Coast Guard kids from Massachusetts participated in an Outward Bound experience in 2017 and 2018 with the support of Tom Niles.
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