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Stories of Giving

Central New Yorkers just like you are leaving legacies to benefit future generations. With the help of the Community Foundation, their generosity will make big a big impact on our region. Click here to read stories from some of our legacy donors. 


My husband Joe and I decided to pay support forward by establishing a charitable giving plan through the Central New York Community Foundation. Read More


When I was growing up in Syracuse in the 1950s, I observed my parents participating in civic and religious organizations while balancing work and home responsibilities. This active community participation and volunteerism were models I learned to live by. Read More



It has been gratifying to live in Central New York and to engage in community revitalization. I have worked hard to instill the importance of community in my three sons. Read More


bernie henderson

I’ve always been civically engaged in the community both as a board member and volunteer for multiple nonprofit organizations. I’ve always been civically engaged in the community both as a board member and volunteer for multiple nonprofit organizations. Read More



Working in learning enterprises throughout our careers, we recognize that access to education is fundamental to the future of a bright, open and civil society. Just as education gave us a degree of social mobility, we want others to grow through access to learning opportunities. Read More



Living and giving were central to both Joyce and her late husband, Ray. Joyce and Ray both lived through The Great Depression and therefore viewed material goods as secondary to compassion and experience.  Read More



My life was changed forever when I was forced to flee Nazi Germany as a young, Jewish boy. I was rescued through the extraordinary kindness of a British family in 1939. Read More



Bob and Zalie Linn’s commitment to volunteerism and charity was woven into their DNA from the start. When Zalie was growing up in Wellsville, she remembers many nights when her father, Charles, would race off to fulfill his duties as a volunteer fireman or ambulance corps member. Read More


Over the course of my life, I faced challenges with determination and perseverance. As a single mother of two young boys, there were times when I struggled to feed us. Read More


When our clients seek advice on where to make charitable contributions in Central New York, The Community Foundation is always at the top of the list. Read More

mary mathews

I feel very blessed to have been born into a caring, loving and supportive family. My parents were always great role models to me. They provided support to the community in so many ways, and I felt it was important to do the same. Read More


U.S. District Court Judge Neal P. McCurn was a person of character, integrity and generosity. And as the father of six children he was also an example of patience, understanding and compassion. Read More



Letty Murray says being charitable just came naturally for her and her late husband, Gil. Read More



Central New York has been my home for 50 years. It is where I met my husband, where our careers flourished and where we discovered a shared commitment to the many nonprofit and charitable organizations making a difference in our community. Read More



The Osborne family name fills the pages of Cayuga County’s history. Hailing from a long line of entrepreneurs, activists and social reformers, Erik Osborne has worked tirelessly to not only honor, but grow the legacies of the family members who came before him. Read More


the peckhams

We live by the motto that you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. There are two ways we want to give back purposefully: during our life and then again through our estate when we’re gone. The Community Foundation has made it possible for us to do both. Read More


Roger and Maggie Reid learned at a young age that giving back to the community should be an integral part of their lives. The couple is planning to carry on this notion by leaving behind a legacy that will ensure their giving will have a lasting impact on the Central New York community.  Read More


When Nick and Agnes Renzi moved to Cortland they fell in love with the community and the nonprofit organizations within it. Now their legacies and wishes for supporting those nonprofits will be stewarded for generations. Read More



After my wife passed away, I wanted to make charitable donations in her memory in a way that made the biggest impact in our community. It would have been cost-prohibitive to establish a private foundation, so I chose the Community Foundation to administer the Indira & Mansukh J. Shah Fund. Read More


We are both natives of Central New York. We lived in Union Springs for 23 years early in our married life. This community is where we chose to raise our family. Read More


THE WheelockS

Frank and Diane Wheelock share a passion for giving back to their community. Their combined view of who represents a philanthropist is broad. Both Diane and Frank agree that charity is about making your community a better place for everyone. Read More



After retiring from a career in mental health services, Catherine Winger saw an opportunity to use her newfound free time to travel and to give back to her community. Read More


  • The Thorpes

    Although she had no formal higher education, Mary was a strong believer that educational opportunity is the path to progress in today’s world.

  • Donald Trufant

    Don thought being kind and generous was important. Those things that were so part of the fiber of his being will continue well past his life through his scholarship fund.

  • John Marsellus

    Just as he did in his daily life, John's legacy will continue to enrich the lives of generations of area residents because of his commitment to Central New York.

  • Ruth Blumberg

    Countless children will benefit from the generous commitment Ruth made to ensure that her daughter’s memory would not be forgotten when she herself passed away.

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