What is the Clarks Companies Foundation?
The Clarks Companies Foundation was created to pay tribute to Bill Bianchini, Senior VP of Product Development. Bill was instrumental in the success of Clarks and his passion to help people learn and grow defines what our foundation is all about.
Our goal is to help create opportunity for children of CCNA employees and young people in the community in need. We work with motivated students to help them gain the experience and knowledge they need to reach their dreams for the future through providing access to education in certificate programs and in college and/or university study.
The foundation is inspired by the work of our friend and colleague, the late Bill Bianchini, who served as teacher, mentor and supporter to countless people during his lifetime. Late in his life, Bill also built a very unique tree house, a personal dream he fulfilled along with making so many other people’s dreams come true. This tree house has become the symbol for our foundation and represents the importance of elevating each other to realize our full potential.
That our friends, neighbors in the community, and industry partners, will join us in helping elevate the lives of many worthy people.
We wish you could have known Bill Bianchini
Bill Bianchini was a life force to be reckoned with and too strong and alive to die at the age of 55. He always thought of himself as a kid from the neighborhood, this neighborhood. No matter where he traveled, all over the world, he would say he was from Elmwood MA, a little town next to East Bridgewater. He loved being from here. He grew up around the corner from his high school and raised his family here.
So, who was he and what made him so damn special?
He was the guy who never had much use for school or formal education but was one of the wisest men we knew. He was the guy in the black German half helmet on his Harley. He was the guy who built a tree house in his back yard for grown-up kids like him…except his had a flat screen TV. He was the guy who told you about his trips all over the world with such beautiful, imaginative language that you could never imagine that seeing these sights could be as beautiful as his descriptions.
He was the guy who helped build the largest casual shoe company in the world. He was the guy who designed and developed the first shoe made for “walking” and comfort. He was the guy who made the first lightweight shoes. There are literally millions of Americans today walking around with Bill Bianchini’s footwear creations on their feet.
He loved life, made his life meaningful and while he was doing that he made it special for the people around him. He always was there to give someone who needed it a “leg up”… a chance that others were not always that anxious to give. He didn’t judge but accepted people as they were saw the best in them and tried to help them be the best that they could be.
He knew now to celebrate every day. He made everything an event and brought everyone to his party. Everyone had their own way to celebrate with Bill.
Bill was a memory maker – he knew moments mattered. If you measure your life in years, he was cheated out of some years but if you measure life in memorable moments, his life was full.
He will be remembered as a teacher and mentor. He will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, uncommon kindness and being fiercely loyal. He will be remembered for his enormous talent.
He will be remembered for his courage to be himself. He was simply not afraid – even at times when he should have been. It was just not in his make up. Throughout his illness and up to his last breath, he showed us how to live without fear. Before his illness he just showed us how to live!