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Community Funds

The Community Foundation depends on its unrestricted funds to proactively address the changing needs of the community and facilitate innovative responses. Our unrestricted fundholders have established legacies that provide flexible support to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

The information listed below is as-of March 31, 2020. 

    Charlotte and Donald Ball Fund

    Peter & Barbara Baum Fund 
Peter and Barbara Baum established this fund in 2019 to support the community they love. Although their fund is unrestricted to meet the region’s greatest needs, the Baums have an affinity for a number of organizations, which they supported throughout their lifetimes. Those include the Landmark Theatre, Syracuse Opera, Syracuse Jewish Family Service, Menorah Park, WCNY, Rescue Mission and the Baum/Oz Museum in Chittenango, NY.

    The Benji Fund
Established as a donor-advised fund in 1984, this anonymous donor wished that the fund become unrestricted at the time of death to continue supporting Central New York community causes in perpetuity.

  Charles F. Brannock Fund
In 1927, Charles F. Brannock developed the “Brannock Foot Measuring Device,” which became the industry standard almost overnight, revolutionizing the retail shoe business. Before he died in 1992, Brannock generously included a charitable provision in his will establishing this fund so that its earnings would always be available to meet Central New York’s changing needs.

    Shirley M. Brennan Fund
Upon the advice of her attorney, Miss Brennan included an unrestricted bequest in her will, knowing the Community Foundation would be supportive of charitable activities in her Eastwood neighborhood.

    William L. Broad Fund
A long-time supporter of the Community Foundation and board member from 1966 to 1972, Bill Broad will always be remembered as an advocate for Syracuse. His wife, Hilda, and many friends established this fund to recognize his thoughtful generosity to the community throughout his lifetime.

  Elizabeth Salisbury Brooks Fund
Elizabeth Salisbury Brooks, Vassar College ’35, was an active braillist and is remembered especially for her efforts to raise scholarship money for local students to attend her alma mater. The Brooks Fund was established in 1990 by a charitable bequest.

  Kenneth P. & Charlotte C. Buckley Fund
Until his retirement, Kenneth P. Buckley was president of Buckley Petroleum. In 1986, the Buckleys made a gift to the Community Foundation Pooled Life Income Fund, which provided income during their lifetimes and became part of the Community Foundation’s unrestricted endowment after their deaths.

    Cabasino Fund
Thomas and Mary Cabasino were active in many facets of their community. Through their gift of securities to the Community Foundation’s Pooled Life Income Fund they were able to earn monthly income and leave a generous gift to continue their thoughtful support of community issues.

    Philip R. & Elizabeth E. Chase Fund
The Chases shared a great love of our community – Mr. Chase as a Councilor-at-Large and Assemblyman, Mrs. Chase as a member of many charitable organizations. Their philanthropy and concern for the quality of life in the Syracuse area will be reflected for generations to come through this unrestricted fund.


Laurie J. and Dr. William R. Clark, Jr. Community Fund
Dr. William Clark was a Professor of Surgery in clinical practice at SUNY Upstate Medical University for 20 years. He founded and was director of the Clark Burn Center at University Hospital, working tirelessly in the community to promote burn prevention. He also enjoyed supporting organizations that provided for the education of local young people and a rich arts and culture scene. This fund will serve as a permanent legacy for Bill and Laurie.

    Solly & Belle Cohen
In 1999, Belle Cohen established a donor-advised fund in memory of her husband. Upon her death, the fund became unrestricted, enabling perpetual support to benefit their community.

    William & Sylvia Cohen Community Fund
Bill, a retired radiologist and his wife, Sylvia, an educator, established this fund to provide flexible support to meet the changing needs of Central New York, a community they have called home for more than 40 years.

  Mary Frances Costello Fund
A bequest received from the estate of Mary Frances Costello in 1998 established this permanent unrestricted fund to support charitable causes in the Central New York community.

    The DeBenedictis Fund

  Alfred & Grace DiBella Fund
Alfred and Grace DiBella arrived at Ellis Island from Sicily in the early 1900s. Their greatest sense of accomplishment came from knowing their daughters and grandchildren would have educational and other opportunities their native country could not provide. One of their daughters and her husband established this fund in honor of the DiBellas’ commitment to providing a better way of life for others.

    John S. & Julia G. Dietz Fund

    Education Endowment Fund

  Carlton R. Estey Fund
Carlton R. Estey worked for many years as a custodian for the Syracuse City School District. His charitable bequest to the Community Foundation stands as a memorial to his lifetime of hard work and generosity to others.

    Alice M. Gaylord Trusts
The Community Foundation receives income from the Alice M. Gaylord Trusts upon the death of the trusts’ primary beneficiaries, forming an unrestricted fund.

    Minnie O. Goodman Estate Fund
In 1978, the Community Foundation received a bequest from Minnie O. Goodman in memory of her parents, Moses L. & Sarah Light Oberdorfer, which has been used to meet general health and human service needs.

  Frances E. & John S. Hancock Fund
Upon the 2007 death of John S. Hancock, a former Community Foundation board member and local bank executive, the Francis and John Hancock Donor-Advised Fund became unrestricted, forever benefiting the Central New York community.

    Carroll A. Hennessy Fund
A bequest established the Carroll A. Hennessy Fund in 1998. Professionally, Mr. Hennessy was a civil engineer and president of Lamson Corporation, but was additionally respected as an involved and civic-minded citizen. His philanthropy continues to benefit the Central New York area through this fund.

  Frances Singer Hennessy Fund
President of the Syracuse publishing firm L.W. Singer Co., Frances Singer Hennessy was a charter member of and a driving force behind Literacy Volunteers of America. An unrestricted charitable bequest from her estate established this fund in 1993.

  Anthony A. & Susan E. Henninger Memorial Fund
After 30 years as New Process Gear’s chief executive, Anthony A. Henninger served as mayor of Syracuse. He is most remembered for his rehabilitation of the city’s educational system and for bringing International League baseball to Syracuse. His wife, Susan, helped charter the Corinthian Club in 1949 and was active in promoting early professional development opportunities for women. The Henningers’ fund was established by bequest in 1983.

    Hills Family Fund
Upon the deaths of Willis and Barbara Hills, this family fund became a permanent unrestricted fund. A portion of its earnings each yearsupports grantmaking to wide-ranging activities and programs.

  Flora Mather Hosmer Fund
During her lifetime, Cazenovia’s “Toto” Hosmer was a true philanthropist and patron of the arts. After her death in 1981, her will established this permanent fund, asking the Community Foundation to be receptive to requests from the favorite charitable organizations she named.. Grants are also awarded from this fund to organizations that the Community Foundation believes Flora would support today.
    I.A. Hotze Fund  
Irving A. “Whitey” Hotze, a Syracuse native and businessman, elected to transform his donor-advised fund to an unrestricted fund, recognizing the potential for greater and everlasting impact on the community.

    Iaconis, Iaconis & Baum Fund
Established in 1998 by Iaconis, Iaconis, & Baum, Attorneys-at-Law, this fund supports the charitable work of the Community Foundation, thereby enhancing the quality of life for those who live and work in Central New York.

    Dorothy Retan Irish Fund

Martha A. & Eugene F. Keppler Fund   Martha A. & Eugene F. Keppler Fund
Martha Keppler, raised in Mexico, NY, and later a long-timeresident of DeWitt, was a graduate of Le Moyne College and hadmultiple careers throughout her life - as a secretary, a mother, asoftware engineer and finally as a physician’s assistant. Martha was very involved in the community as a refugee resettlement volunteer, a teacher in the Alzheimer’s unit of the Taoist Tai Chi Society and a longtime volunteer in hospice care at Francis House. When she passed away, this fund was established and named in memory of her and her husband of more than 44 years.


Marjorie D. Kienzle Fund
The Kienzle Foundation transferred its assets to the Community Foundation in 2005 to continue to serve the community through unrestricted grantmaking as it did as a private foundation.


Frances C. & Albert C. Knight Charitable Fund


George & Luella Krahl Fund

    L.C. Maier Community Fund
Leonard C. Maier, Jr. established this donor-advised fund in 1985. Upon his death in 1997, his wife, Ann, continued to direct charitable contributions from the fund until it became unrestricted in 2005.

    Gay D. Marsellus Fund
The remainder interest of a Charitable Remainder Trust set up for Gay’s benefit by her father in 1999 is now used as an endowment fund to serve the broad charitable interests of this community.

  John F. Marsellus Fund
Having served as a former director of several corporations and community organizations, as well as serving on the board of directors of the Community Foundation, John left the majority of his estate to the Community Foundation to carry on his charitable giving in perpetuity.  As with his daily life, his legacy continues to enrich many lives because of his thoughtful planning and commitment to his community.

    Helen Hancock McClintock Fund
Helen chose to make a gift to the Community Foundation’s Pooled Life Income Fund in 1993, allowing her to continue receiving income during her lifetime. Since her death in 1999, this fund has been an unrestricted gift for the benefit of her community.

  James & Aileen Miller Fund
Jim and Aileen Miller, married for more than sixty years, spent the majority of their lives living and working in Central New York. Jim held a great aptitude for all things mechanical and founded the J.E. Miller Corporation. His wife, Aileen, worked as a school teacher. When Aileen’s health began to fail, Jim sold his company and visited Aileen twice a day while she was living in a nursing facility. The kindness and compassion they held for each other is something that their friends remember fondly. The Millers chose to name the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate. Their foresight in establishing charitable provisions in their estate plan will allow both their kindness and the fruits of their success to continue supporting the community they called home. Grants from this fund will be distributed to meet broad community needs for inner-city neighborhoods.

    Donald C. & Marion F. Newton Fund
The Newtons maintained a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation dating back to 1987. Since their deaths it has been an unrestricted fund.

  Peggy Ogden Community Fund
This fund was created in 2008 in honor of Margaret “Peggy” Ogden, as an enduring tribute to the impact of her work and dedication to our community after 20 years of service as the Community Foundation’s President and CEO.

  Dorothy M. Olds Fund
Dorothy M. Olds was a second grade teacher in the Fayetteville-Manlius school system for almost 30 years. A very generous person throughout her life, she established this fund in 1997 through a bequest.


P-D Family Fund
Originally established in 1970 by Robert & Winifred Pond, this multi-generational family fund has supported local causes for more than four decades. It is currently endowed at the Community Foundation to support, in-part, nonprofit organizations that serve the Cazenovia region.


John R. Pelkey Community Fund

    Theodore & Marjorie B. Pierson Fund
Mrs. Pierson asked the Community Foundation to change her donor-advised fund to an unrestricted fund, which is a permanent charitable legacy of this community-minded couple.

Robert & Anne Pietrafesa Fund   Robert & Anne Pietrafesa Fund
Robert Pietrafesa had a long and distinguished career inthe manufacturing of men’s tailored clothing that spannedfour decades. Together with his brother, he built the familybusiness into a large supplier of quality mens wear to upscale retail stores. Both he and his wife, Anne, were active in civic, philanthropic, educational and church organizations throughout their lives. Their contributionsto causes in Central New York has undoubtedly made a lasting impression on the region. After their parents’ passing, Robert and Anne’s five children donated the assets of the family’s private foundation to establish this fund as a permanent reminder to future generations that their parents cared deeply about the people of Central New York.

    Robert A. & Winifred S. Pond Family Fund
Robert Pond was owner of the A.H. Pond Company, established as a fine jewelry store in Syracuse in 1892. Upon his death in 1970, his wife Winifred established a donor-advised fund naming her daughter as successor advisor for twenty years, after which it became an unrestricted fund.

  Brian Cole Retan Memorial Fund
Brian Retan, an excellent young diver who loved teaching children, died at an early age in Birmingham, Alabama. Brian’s family established this unrestricted charitable fund in 2001 to honor his joyful approach to life.

    James A. & McDowell Smith Reynolds Fund

    Lawrence E. Root Fund

    Rosalind & Seymour Rudolph Fund

Robert M. & Dorothy M. Salisbury Fund
Established in 1971 with shares of Syracuse China Co. stock, this fund was previously a donor-advised fund. It now honors in perpetuity the former chairman of Pass & Seymour, Inc., and his wife.

  Helene C. Schroeder Fund
Born in Brooklyn, Helene moved to Syracuse as a young woman to work in the offices of the L.C. Smith Typewriter Company. While working there, she met and married Arthur Schroeder, president of A.C. Schroeder Company. Helene and her husband were long-time residents of Skaneateles who enjoyed world travel. Her fondest memory was an exciting ride on a camel during a trip to the Far East. Despite her love of faraway lands, Helene never forgot her roots in Central New York. When she passed away, her will directed the formation of this Fund to benefit the area she loved.


Daniel & Jeanne Schwartz Fund
Dan and Jeanne Schwartz were mainstays in the Village of Elbridge, where they lived for more than 60 years. Dan served as administrative assistant for business at Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, where Jeanne also served as the District’s first art teacher. The couple was very involved in their community, having co-authored two books about the Village — A Stroll Along Main Street and A Stroll Through Time. Jeanne served as Elbridge’s local historian. In addition, both were very civically minded, volunteering their time for a number of local organizations that contributed to the region’s culture and vibrancy. After their passing, the remainder of a trust established this fund, which will serve as a reminder to future generations that they cared deeply about the community and its people.  

    Frederick B. & Laura B. Scott Fund
Frederick Scott, a prominent member of the Syracuse Supply Company family, established this fund in 1969. It is a permanent legacy that continues to support the Community Foundation’s unrestricted grantmaking.

  Shuart Family Fund
Otis Shuart served as a sergeant andcryptographer in the U.S. Army SignalCorps. In 1956, he began a 35-year careerwith General Electric where he becamemanager of Advanced Technology DevelopmentPlanning in the Electronic SystemsDivision. Otis always had an interest inthe community and helped establish theSyracuse Urban Cluster, a group of seven local Episcopalchurches, and he was its lay chair for several years. Otis wasa long-time supporter of the Community Foundation’sCommunity Fund, giving almost every year since 1997.When Otis passed away earlier this year, he named theCommunity Foundation as a beneficiary of his retirementplan so that his impact on the community wouldcontinue in perpetuity to support Central New York’schanging needs.

    Ethel L. Skinner Community Fund
Ethel Skinner worked in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District as a classroom teacher and librarian for 22 years. She later worked at the Manlius Library before fully retiring. Ethel created this fund now, and plans to add to it with a future gift from her estate, so that her impact on the community will continue to support Central New York’s changing needs.

    Winifred and DeVillo Sloan Jr. Family Fund
DeVillo Sloan, Jr., Ph.D., and Winifred Philbin Sloan met in college following World War II. They married and became the parents of one son. They have lived in and around the Elbridge area and both have followed careers in education. This fund is intended to provide a flexible pool of dollars which will be used to support worthy needs in the Central New York area.

    Lee & Alice Smith Fund
When Levi Smith, founder of Thursday Morning Roundtable, passed away in 2007, his donor-advised fund became unrestricted. Now in perpetuity, this fund will honor a man who in his lifetime created dozens of innovative educational programs serving adult learners.

  Frances M. Thompson Fund
An avid reader as both librarian and local news enthusiast, Frances Thompson established this fund through an unrestricted charitable bequest in 2001.

    Olga Dietz Turner Fund
This fund was established in 1982 with stock from the R.E. Dietz Company, a locally owned manufacturer of lanterns, lighting and safety equipment. Now an unrestricted fund, its earnings are used by the Community Foundation to meet community priorities.

    Virginia Wendel Fund
Virginia, formerly of Grand Island, resided in Central New York in recent years to be near family. Her estate gift will broadly support the changing needs of Central New York each year.

    Carolyn V. West Fund
Carolyn West, a resident of Syracuse for most of her life, had an accomplished career in communications and business management, ultimately serving as Vice President of the Crouse-Hinds Company until she retired. Enjoying the lifelong benefit of community service, she was a board member, and often an officer, of many organizations including the Syracuse Opera and various health, welfare and interfaith groups. When she passed away in 2012, Carolyn’s estate established this fund to support a wide range of community needs.


Dorothy C. Witherill Fund

    The Witherill Fund
A prominent citizen and owner of Witherill Department Stores, Mr. Witherill established this fund through an unrestricted charitable bequest in 1978. A further bequest was added by his wife, Dorothy Crouse Witherill, in 1998.


Forrest H. Witmeyer Fund

    Arthur W. & Mabel P. Wrieden Memorial Fund
Arthur W. Wrieden was general manager of the Lennox Furnace Co. from 1936 to 1961. In 1981, his unrestricted charitable bequest established this memorial fund.

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