The Tyler Groton Memorial Fund was recently established Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Created by Judge Thomas Groton III and Althea Smith Groton to honor the memory of their late son, the fund will award grants to nonprofits which provide support to LGBTQ+ youth.
Tyler Groton grew up in Snow Hill, Maryland and passed away suddenly in the Fall of 2021.
“Tyler was a swimmer, Eagle Scout, organ donor, and dedicated time to building shelters for homeless cats, but his greatest passion was theater,” said his mother, Althea Groton. “As a gifted actor he performed in numerous plays in the Baltimore region, most notably at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater. He loved working on theatre projects with children and was a talented director.”
The fund was inspired by Tyler’s advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community. As the Assistant Theater Director of the McDonogh School, Tyler’s greatest accomplishment was directing “The Laramie Project. The play details the brutal killing of gay college student Matthew Shepard. Tyler Groton said at the time he not only wanted to stretch the actors’ ability with the demanding piece of documentary theater, but he also wanted to foster discussion about the treatment of LGBTQ+ people.
“The experience was eye opening and enlightening as noted by all involved including students, parents, and faculty,” said Judge Thomas Groton, Tyler’s father. “LGBTQ+ youth are often mistreated and stigmatized in society and the resulting mental health issues are all too real. Through this memorial fund we want to continue our son’s work by helping to create safe spaces and support for those in crisis.”
To make a tax-deductible contribution to the fund visit CFES.org/donate and select the “Tyler C. Groton Memorial Fund” in the drop-down menu.