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Stories of Giving

Edward Audi

Much like Stickley, the Central New York Community Foundation takes pride in its long-standing distinction as an organization of steadfast integrity. Read More

Ruth & MarTha BlumBerg

Martha Blumberg accomplished great things in her short life – gaining recognition as a promising young artist when she was just 12 years old. Read More


Vicki Brackens

I remember how important it was for me in my professional journey to get that first ‘yes.’ Read More



For my late wife Noni and me, philanthropy went way back. Both of my parents served as wonderful examples for lending a hand. So when Noni and I married at age 22, it was natural for us to begin giving right away. Read More

the breuers

As president of my family-owned business, Hueber-Breuer Construction, I believe that my responsibilities extend beyond business operations. Supporting the community that my family has called home for generations is always at the forefront of my mind. Read More


melvin brown

In Cayuga and western Onondaga counties, children will have additional reading opportunities, more stray animals will find safe shelter and happy homes and residents will enjoy a vibrant parade. All of this thanks to the new Melvin E. Brown Fund at the Central New York Community Foundation; this fund was established by its namesake, a long-time Village of Jordan resident. Read More


Craig Buckhout

As an investment advisor, I see my clients giving of their time and resources to support causes that matter to them. Read More



Bob DerrenBacker

My wife and I established a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation many years ago so that we could build a personal charitable account over time. Read More

Christine Woodcock Dettor & Emilee Lawson Hatch

We provide our clients with creative ways to tailortheir estate plans to incorporate charitable giving. Our clients rely on and benefit from the many customized options that the Community Foundation offers. Read More


the clarks

William, a prominent Syracuse surgeon, was best known for founding the Clark Burn Center at University Hospital, a six-bed intensive care unit that provides state-of-the-art burn care to residents of 28 surrounding counties. He served as a Professor of Surgery in clinical practice at SUNY Upstate Medical University for 20 years and then later worked for the New York State Health Department. Read More


Larry daley

Larry Daley's license plate may have read BOPREY, standing for 'birds of prey,' but he was nothing like the fierce hunters he so admired. The life-long Cazenovia resident is remembered for being friendly, caring and nurturing to both animals and his fellow man. Read More



When her husband passed away fifteen years ago, Jeanne Lawler was faced with a decision regarding which organizations to support from her family’s charitable foundation. Jeanne’s efforts were successful. The DoVES Fund has now expanded to more than 55 members and hopes to grow even further in the years to come. Read More


Margaret Early

Many years ago, the late Margaret Early heard the story of Eugene Lang, a businessman who set up a very successful incentive scholarship at his disadvantaged secondary school in Harlem, NY. Read More


Dottie Fowler

After I retired from twenty years of teaching and sold the business that I ran for ten years, I was blessed with the opportunity to focus my energy on many things I enjoy – traveling, spending time with my family, reading and gardening, to name a few. Read More



Florence Gaedeke

Florence Gaedeke was the first person from her English family to be born in America. She met her husband Bill while in high school at Blodgett Vocational where she studied business, and worked after classes in the factory that his father owned. Read More


Lee Gatta

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

Barb Genton

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. My father could never say no to a volunteer opportunity. This active community participation and volunteerism were models I learned to live by. Read More

Gary Germain

Serving as a tax and estate attorney, I have observed several clients reach their philanthropic objectives through charitable gift planningRead More


Grace Ghezzi

In my role as an accountant and financial planner, I always bring up the topic of charitable giving with my clientsduring estate or financial planning conversations. Charitable clients love to learn that there are many options forgiving to charity that can be tailored to fit their unique needs. Read More


Steven Gillette & Bruce Lane

Bruce and Steven enjoyed a 27-year love story before their retirement years were cut short upon their tragic passings. A combined trust and estate gift of more than $2.5 million in support of the couple’s most cherished charities will be continuing their legacy of caring for others with dignity and respect. Read More

the halls

Mark and Karla Hall’s paths first crossed while attending Bradley University. Karla was born and raised in Chicago, while Mark hailed from Syracuse. When they married, they chose to return here to build their life together. Read More

Ruth Hancock

My husband, Stewart Hancock, and I both grew up in families in which charitable giving was just a part of what you did. We understood the importance of being involved in the community early on, so giving back was always a big part of our lives. Read More


Betsy Hartnett

When my clients want to give back to the community and save on estate taxes, I help them incorporate charitable giving into their estate plans. Read More


Linda Dickerson Hartsock

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


bud haylor

Burnett (Bud) Haylor’s 92 years in Syracuse contributed to a life well lived. The successful businessman, caring husband and father and consistent advocate and supporter of local causes never hesitated to lend a helping hand, along with his knowledge and wit, while forever remaining humbleRead 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


gordon hershberger

My wife, Kaye, was a compassionate and caring woman who spent countless hours volunteering for many community 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

honorable Frank h. hiscock

Judge Frank Harris Hiscock devoted much of his life to practicing law and philanthropy. He had a powerful desire to assist the less fortunate and improve the quality of life in Syracuse and its surrounding areas. His legacy continues to make an impact through the work of Hiscock Legal Aid Society, an organization established by a gift from his will. Read More

Joyce homan

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

ursula hubby

Over her 97 years, Ursula Hubby’s generosity and kindness benefited countless Central New Yorkers. Now, her caring spirit will be carried on through a charitable legacy that will continue to help others for generations. Read More


Roberta and Robert Hurd led fairly modest lives. Robert worked as a tool and die maker and Roberta worked her entire life as an accountant first for American Woolen Mills in Fulton and then General Electric. They were a very devoted couple who were rich in love for one another. They remembered fondly their days in the Phoenix schools where they met during the 1930s. Read More

The Jacobs

Running a business in Central New York has been very rewarding, and has inspired us to give back to the community that supported us. Read More



The Johnsons

Growing up, William had three little mothers - his sisters. In the hospital they acted like little nurses, and at home they helped with feeding and therapy. Read More


Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship

Kappa Alpha Psi is a predominantly African American fraternal organization of college graduates with the main goals of community service and scholarship. Read More


The Kings

Russell King and his late wife, Joan “Jiggy” King, were longtime supporters of a number of local charities in the community that they have called home since their college days at Syracuse University. Read More


The KrahlsThe Krahls

Education and community have always been important to Ron and Luella Krahl. “We have gained so much from our service to others.” Read More



richard levy

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


The Linns

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


Jim Mackin

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


Jack Mannion

My parents left Ireland at a time when charity, though desperately needed, rarely showed its face. They settled in the Bronx, where charity was still in short supply, but where hope and opportunity abounded. Read More


John F. Marsellus

Friends and family of John F. Marsellus remember him as a civic leader who truly loved Central New York. His passion for the community was evident through his continuous involvement in many organizations including being a board member of the Community Foundation, Manufacturers Association of CNY, Everson Museum of Art, Ducks Unlimited, YMCA and a founding member of the Metropolitan Development Association (now CenterState CEO). Read More

Mary mathews

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

Judge Neal P. McCurn

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


The Millers

Over the course of their sixty-year marriage, Jim and Aileen Miller successfully built Jim’s local company, J.E. Miller Corporation. They also built a strong and loving relationship. Read More


The Mowers

The Mowers’ initial funding relationship with the Community Foundation came some years ago when a small number of Eric’s colleagues established a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation as a way of recognizing their work together. Read More


The Murphys

Our family has always been very passionate about giving back because we feel it is important to support the community that has supported us. Two elder generations of the Murphy family have long partnered with the Community Foundation to facilitate their giving. Read More


Marshall Nelson

The richness of Marshall A. Nelson’s life is reflected by what he has given to others. He was an early crusader for local civil rights - his bold and persistent efforts having benefited an untold number of women and minorities by helping them to gain access to corporate America. 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


erik osborne

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


Gale Owen

Gale Owen was a smart, caring and giving woman with many talents and a signature whistle. A graduate of Manlius Pebble Hill School, Gale lived in Syracuse for most of her life. While raising her daughters as a single mom, Gale volunteered her time, transcribing textbooks into braille for Literacy Volunteers and serving as treasurer for the Syracuse Chapter of the National Organization for Women. 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


The Pluffs

Our daughters were both born prematurely and the extensive testing that they received uncovered that they each had moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears. Read More


Rita Reicher

Central New York has helped our company prosper for more than 30 years, attracting a talented workforce that set usup for success. I feel fortunate to be able to express my gratitude to this community through charitable giving. 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


Dorothy Riester

"It's tough to be first at anything, " mused Dorothy Rieter, as she summed up the ultimate lesson that she has learned during her impressive career as a pioneer in the art world. Read More



aNNE ruffer

I know that my clients with charitable interests are in good hands when working with the Community Foundation. The staff is attentive to detail, caring, and most importantly, they listen. They take the time to sit down with my clients and find the best way to help them achieve their charitable giving goals. Read More


tom ryan

Tom Ryan was deeply moved by Syracuse's poverty statistics and wanted to do something to help. He has always been a big baseball fan, so he utilized the Community Foundation to connect to a program that introduces children living in poverty to baseball. View Video

Don ryder

When you ask anyone who knew Don Ryder how they would describe him, they all say the same thing; he was a very private and quiet individual, a man who mainly kept to himself. Upon his death in 2015, this private man did something that showed just how much he cared about his community. Read More

Richard and Robert SCOLARO

As we go about our daily lives - addressing the demands of work, home and family - most of us probably don’trealize the struggles our local nonprofits are facing to keep their vital services going. 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


Juliette Klein Sharpe

Juliette Klein Sharpe felt truly blessed by her network of friends and her small community. “God takes care of fools and Julie” was something said often by the Skaneateles resident and retired 30-year employee with the telephone company. Read More


The Spanfelners

Ten years ago, John Spanfelner, an avid fisherman and nature-lover, established the Spanfelner Fund at the Community Foundation with his wife Anne to address the causes they cared about the most. Read More


The Thorpes

William and Mary Thorpe were born in Herkimer, NY and grew up on their parents’ farm on a hill just west of the Village of Camillus. Read More

Donald Trufant

Donald Trufant never attended college, but he considered himself a life-long learner, believing that education was the way towards a fulfilling and prosperous life. Now, an endless number of students from Don’s hometown will have the opportunity to advance their education thanks to his foresight and giving nature. Read More


The Watts

My wife and I believe that a path to higher education should be accessible to anyone who has the desire and the will to continue their education.Read More



When we moved to Syracuse from Rochester in 1984, we felt welcomed by the people in our new community. We quickly adjusted to life here, engaging in our children’s schools, volunteer work, youth sports and our neighborhood. 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

patrick wiese

At age 21, Patrick Wiese was excelling as a baseball player for Le Moyne College when he was shaken with a sudden diagnosis of Osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Read More


matt wilson

Matt Wilson lights up when he talks about his late wife, Kelly. “The first thing I always think of is her infectious personality,” said Wilson. “Wherever we went, she was the life of the party. Everyone loved her.” Read More


Catherine Winger

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

Mark and Reghan worden

It is important to us to see children in our community growing up healthy and on a path to success. We were both raised in Central New York and have lived here our entire lives, so we find it critical to support local charities. Read More


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In 2012, the Community Foundation invited StoryCorps to record stories of some of Central New York's inspiring nonprofit and philanthropic leaders. Hear their stories.