Philanthropist, car magnate Ernie Boch Jr. donates $50K to addiction recovery centers
Car dealership mogul Ernie Boch Jr. on Wednesday announced he will donate $50,000 to a substance abuse treatment facility in Rutland.
Boch joined Gov. Peter Shumlin at a news conference in Montpelier on Wednesday to announce his gift to Recovery House in Rutland.
Recovery House Inc. CEO Richard Keane's jaw dropped when Boch spontaneously doubled his donation from an anticipated $25,000.
"The work that Serenity House is doing is fantastic," said Boch, the multi-millionaire president and CEO of Subaru of New England who also owns seven other New England dealerships.
Recovery House is comprised of Serenity House in Wallingford and Grace House in Rutland. Serenity House is a residential treatment facility. Grace House helps clients transition back into the community from residential treatment.
"We're going to try to beef up our therapy and education groups," Keane said when asked how Recovery House will spend the money.
Boch emphasized his love for Vermont and described his personal friendship with Shumlin, which started when he donated $25,000 to the post-Irene cleanup.
Boch's net worth is estimated at $500 million. He made headlines last month in Massachusetts, his home state, for raising the minimum hourly wage of his employees.
Boch has also supported Shumlin's political efforts. He and Subaru of New England each donated $2,000 to Shumlin's campaign during the 2011-2012 election cycle, according to VTDigger.org's campaign finance database.
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