ABC of Andover Celebrates Founders

It was a reunion 50 years in the making for some of the original supporters of the A Better Chance of Andover at a Founders' Reception, held at the North Andover Country Club Sunday night April 13, 2017.

Part of ABC of Andover’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the evening honored key visionaries and supporters from ABC’s past. Among the guests were three of the original board members, including Meredith Russell, Norm Veihmann, Margot Bixby along with 16 past presidents. 

As Andover activists reconnected, the first resident directors of both the boys and the girls program compared notes with current and past resident directors. In remarks to the group, Charles Dey, first director of the early ABC program, co-producer of a documentary on ABC to be shown April 12, recounted the harrowing story of driving the first four ABC students up north from Mississippi and being denied service at a segregated diner. He told of how the Holiday Inn clerk risked his job to allow them to stay overnight. 

Ellis Rowe, a graduate of the first class of AHS ’70, paid tribute to the program that, as he said, was one of the three pillars of the foundation of his success, along with his Dartmouth College family and his family of co-workers at Mars Corporation, where he retired as Group President. 

The evening included a toast to ABC and ended with promises to reconnect at the 50th Anniversary Gala set for October of this year.

For more information on the 50th anniversary celebrations, visit

Andover Townsman April 13, 2017 - ABC of Andover holds founders' reception - article and photographs.

Additional photos Founders' Reception photos, Founders' Reception - invitation.

Ellis Rowe '70, Simone McBean Yatrakis '90, Susan Connolly, President toast the founders