Community Service Efforts of Bob Wells '66 Featured in Connecticut Newspaper

Community Service Efforts of Bob Wells '66 Featured in Connecticut Newspaper

November 4, 2007

Bob Wells Nov 2007.jpgNovember 4, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "For me, helping others is what I need to do," Bob Wells, president of The Community Fund of Darien, Connecticut, and 1966 graduate of DePauw University. Profiled in today's Norwalk Advocate, Wells says, "Too many are blind to the pervasive problems of people in our area living on the margins. You don't see these people at the clubs we belong to, the restaurants we eat at, the fine stores where we shop. But the problems are real. They are all around us. We just need to open our eyes." (photo: Andrew Sullivan/Norwalk Advocate)

Wells, a retired advertising executive, tells the newspaper, "I've been lucky in my life." Sharon Butler writes, "But luck was only one part of it. Talent, persistence, smarts, creativity and thought all played roles -- as did a sense of fun. 'I grew up in a household where it was okay to be silly -- to have ideas that were different from everyone else's,' he says." east college with trees.jpg

The article asks, "Remember the wonderful Charlie Chaplin 'Tramp' ads launching the first IBM PC back in 1981? That was Wells' idea -- a project so secret he couldn't even tell his wife, Barbara ['66], what he was working on (she thought it was a computerized bicycle). Also his was the Clio Award-winning environmental ad for Keep America Beautiful, with Native American actor Chief Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear over pollution. Wells went on to become executive vice president at Young & Rubicam, then was appointed a member of the company's Partnership Board, taking him all around the world to oversee its top 300 managers."

According to his friend, Gary Burandt, Bob Wells is "the only guy around with both a left brain and a right brain." Butler notes, "He's logical and analytical, but also creative and feeling, which helps account for his involvement in the community -- serving not only as president of the Community Fund but also as trustee of DePauw University, his alma mater; executive committee member at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk; and board member at Family Centers. It's the right side of his brain -- the feeling side -- that drives him. As president of the Community Fund, he oversees a 55-year-old organization, formerly a branch of United Way, that will distribute $680,000 in grants this year to 28 agencies in Darien, Norwalk, and Stamford," she writes.

The story details Wells' community service work, as well as his steel band called The Blue Flames, which entertains at weddings and has played at DePauw alumni functions. Every cent the ensemble has earned -- more than $200,000 to date -- has been donated to charity.

Access the complete feature at the newspaper's Web site.