Brief History

If you knew Bill Long, you likely have a story to tell! Please take a moment to share your memory so that future generations can truly appreciate the impact he had on our community and lives.

Bill Long was manager of the Oberlin Co-Op for over thirty years and made it a financially secure business. But Bill's involvement with Oberlin extended beyond the bookstore.

He served as a member and chairman of City Council for a number of years and was a co-developer of the Oberlin Industrial Park. A tireless activist for positive social change, he was a leader in the racial integration of downtown businesses.

He found funds for sewers and waterlines in areas where private assessment was difficult, helped low income families buy homes, and promoted a city recreation program. Involved as he was in projects of this nature, he still found time to play Santa Claus and chief engineer at a bookstore display of his model trains.

In this spirit of service, Bill Long initiated a plan for the bookstore in which some of its profits were donated to good causes. Over the years the bookstore gave more than $150,000 to a variety of community programs.

When he retired in 1989 as manager, the Co-op bookstore and friends set up the Bill Long Foundation (BLF) to honor him by continuing his tradition of community involvement.

BLF grants have funded projects such as Choristers, Hot Meals, Langston Middle School, Bike Co-op, and Oberlin Seniors.

The initial monies inaugurating the Bill Long Foundation and subsequent gifts which have been invested are the only sources of BLF assets. Therefore, the Foundation looks to donors to increase its ability to disperse funds to worthwhile projects. As there is no paid staff, with the exception of a professional auditor, organizational expense is minimal. The IRS has granted BLF public foundation status. All donations are tax-deductible.

Donors become members of the Foundation on a yearly basis and are able to vote on which projects are to be funded. All members of the Oberlin Consumers Co-operative are automatically members of the Bill Long Foundation.

Voting on the allocation of funds and selecting a board of directors take place at the annual meeting usually held in early April (this year is April 16th). The Board of Trustees is comprised of 10-12 individuals from the Oberlin area who are members of the BLF. Members are encouraged to serve on committees.

The Foundation would welcome you as member. In joining the BLF you will be taking an active part in a Long tradition of community involvement and giving.

Bill Long in front of the Co-op
Bill Long in front of the Co-op

Page Updated 5/22/15
Bill Long Foundation,
Dec 10, 2017, 10:29 AM