Since our founding in 1972, we have worked closely with exceptional individuals and families who use their charitable giving to make our region stronger and more vital. Here a few of those generous folks, who were recipients of our 2017 Philanthropy Awards:
Joe U. Posner Founders Award
As a young attorney, Mike may not have believed he would one day be the linchpin in a major bequest to help Genesee County’s older adults. But that’s exactly what happened after a school librarian attended a seminar he hosted to build his business. Roxanne Marshall relied on Mike to settle a problem with her parents’ estate. With his guidance she then made plans to leave $7 million to the Community Foundation to create a fund, named for her mother, for non-medical, in-home services in the county where she was raised. In 20 years, the fund has distributed more than 200 grants totaling $6.9 million.
Roxanne is one of many clients interested in helping their community that Mike has referred to the Foundation throughout his 45 year-plus career as a trusts and estates attorney.
This partner at Boylan Code LLP uses his spare time to volunteer. He served for 12 years on the Foundation board and on boards of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Wilmot Cancer Institute, Highland Hospital, Highland Hospital Foundation, Strong Partners Health Systems, Inc., Daystar for Medically Fragile Children, Inc., and YMCA of Greater Rochester.
When it came to truly understanding giving back to your community, Anne and Sherman had great role models in their parents and grandparents. Sherm’s father and his maternal grandfather, who was president of Kodak, were among the founding trustees of the George Eastman Museum. Anne’s parents and maternal grandparents were generous benefactors of Rochester Museum & Science Center and Allendale Columbia School.
The Farnhams were married in 1969 after Sherm’s 14-month stint in Vietnam. He finished college, and they came back to Rochester for his job at Citibank. Seven years later, another banking opportunity had them moving to Ohio. After the kids got older, Anne returned to the working world, eventually ending up in the insurance field.
When Sherm retired, they decided to move back here and be closer to extended family. That’s also when Anne and Sherm began their legendary cross-country travels. While it’s a necessity with two children and five grandchildren on both coasts, it is something they thoroughly enjoy. Visits to all official presidential libraries earned this couple a special citation. Their philanthropy is as varied as their travels, but it is purposeful and with an interest in seeing results. “We want to know actual people benefitting from this and that maybe it makes a difference in their lives,” says Sherm.
Mimi draws inspiration for her volunteer work and community giving from her parents, who used their expertise and talents to help others. Her father started the first federally chartered Chinese-American bank in the mid-1970s to provide loans to immigrants who did not have the typical collateral needed by traditional banks. Her mother, a trained pianist, performed early in her career and then taught piano and got very involved in the church and provided music during the services.
Mimi has followed in their footsteps in her own community — and beyond. She served on the Foundation board for 11 years and continues to stay connected as a member of the Feinbloom Supporting Foundation board and the Advisory Council for former board members.
An accomplished cellist and instructor at Eastman School of Music and Nazareth College, Mimi’s love of music drives her volunteer work. On the boards of Hochstein and the national Chamber Music of America, she also directs a concert series fundraiser for Foodlink called “If Music Be The Food...” Two times each year, Mimi and a friend combine their talents to offer a dinner concert in her home as a fundraiser for local organizations — she performs and her friend does the cooking. “People love music. It makes people happy and it is a relief and a release, especially in stressful times,” says Mimi, who is also a mother of two daughters.
These two embody the Community Foundation’s slogan Give where you Live.SM “We feel we were given a certain amount of economic means … and we choose to invest in Rochester,” says John, a retired legal editor for the former Lawyer’s Cooperative Publishing Company and community fundraiser.
Their upbringings — Chuck in Minnesota and John in suburban Miami — were quite similar, including the fact that their mothers went door to door collecting donations for various charities. Doing your part to give back “just stuck with me as something that is part of your responsibility as a person,” says Chuck, who taught English at Canandaigua Middle School for 28 years.
This pair, together since 1987 and married for five years this month, never really retired. They eagerly eased into what they call Phase Two, which involves part-time jobs, volunteer “work,” and lending their expertise to local organizations. Chuck and John developed an intentional and specific plan for their giving that includes never making anonymous contributions. Their names are associated with the artistic directorship of the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus, on seats at the Dryden Theatre, Hatch Hall, and Blackfriars Theater. In addition to their first-of-its-kind LGBTQ scholarship at Nazareth, John initiated a scholarship to help diversify the membership of the local Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Join us in congratulating the recipients of our Philanthropy Awards.
Year in and year out, each recipient contributes to the promise of the greater Rochester region. We recognize the many hours and consistent financial support these generous individuals and families share with countless nonprofit organizations dedicated to the improvement of our families, our neighbors, our schools, and our villages, towns, cities, and counties.
If not for this award, many of our honorees would remain behind the scenes, invisibly savoring the good works they have started, continued, or completed. We thank them for going public with their generosity in order to inspire others.
Here are the people and organizations that have been recognized with Philanthropy Awards by the Community Foundation since 1991. Those who have received the Joe U. Posner Founders Award, named for our founding chair, are marked with a + (it was the Founders Award before 2001):
2017: Mike Buckley+; Anne Morris Farnham and Sherman Farnham Jr.; Mimi Hwang; Chuck Lundeen and John Williams
Special Recognition: Rochester Women's Giving Circle for 10 years of grassroots philanthropy, and Irene Weinberg, representing the three couples who provided the Foundation with its first gift in 1973.
2016: Mary V. Fisher and Deborah Lattime+; Dr. Sidney and Barbara Sobel; and Dilip Vellodi
2015: Leo and Charlotte Landhuis; Pin-Seng and Shirley Tschang; and Nathan “Nick” Robfogel+
Special Recognition: Bob Silver* for 20 years of leading Community Sponsors annual campaign
2014: Tom Argust+; Dr. Matthew Augustine; Linda Wells Davey; and the Robert Sykes* and family
Special Recognition: Feinbloom Supporting Foundation 25-year partnership.
2013: Dr. Walter Cooper+; The Robert* and Jane* Stevens Family; and Eric Zeller
Special Recognition: Muriel H. Marshall Fund 15-year partnership.
2012: Ronald Fielding; Janet Buchanan Smith; and Margaret Sánchez+
Special Recognition: Community Foundation Founders and Longest-Serving Volunteers for An Evening Out At Home - Diana Lauria and Esel Rasor*
2011: Edward P. “Ted” Curtis Jr.*; Lou and Betty* Iacona family; Ruth I. Morton; and Ruth H. Scott+
2010: Mark and Kathy Cleary; Mark* and Bobbie (Barbara) Hargrave Jr.; TC Lewis+; and Nannette Nocon
2009: Bruce B. Bates+; Suzanne Gouvernet; Adrienne* and Bertha Simpkins; and Justin L. Vigdor
2008: Joe Brown*; Dr. Marvin and Nancy* Yanes Hoffman: Robert D. “Bob” Hursh+*; and Frank* and Norma Riedman
2007: Vee and George* Angle; Tom and Barbara Clark; Paul Rubery, Esq.+; and V.J. Stanley*
2006: Catherine Carlson/Dorris and Chester Carlson Foundation; Ray and Erika Hutch; and Harris “Bud” Rusitzky+
2005: Harry* and Nancy Beilfuss; Robert W. “Bob” Kessler, Esq.+; and John M. “Dutch” Summers
2004: George and Mary Bauer: Marjorie Brenneman; Jerome L. Huff*; and Richard A. Schwartz+
2003: Armored Motor Service of Rochester: Jacqueline P. Cady*; Alfred L. Davis*; C. Benn and Sally Forsyth+; and Halcyon Hill Foundation
2002: Joanna Card*: ESL Federal Credit Union; James and Janis Gleason and the Gleason Foundation; Elliott H. Press*; and Janet Welch+
2001: Ames-Amzalak Memorial Trust; Ione “Grandma” Collins*; B. Thomas Golisano; and Robert C. Silver+*
Special Recognition: Horses on Parade Project of High Falls Brewing Company
2000: Davenport-Hatch Foundation; Lance Drummond; Greece Rotary Club; Cricket Luellen; and Linda Weinstein+
1999: Joseph and Nancy Briggs+; Caldwell Manufacturing; Princeton Club of Rochester; and Robert Schmidhammer
1998: Arunas Chesonis; Ronald Fielding; James Littwitz+*; Richard Palermo*; and The Rochester Garden Club
1997: The Brush Family+; Hattie Harris*; Rosa Wims; Louis S. & Molly Wolk Foundation; and Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church
1996: Frontier Corporation; Junior League of Rochester; Joe U. Posner+; and Robert Strasenburgh*
1995: Brighton Twelve Corners Middle School 8th Grade Community Service Program; Diane Doniger; Ruby Lockhart; Merrill Lynch and Co., Bruce Taub – Resident Vice President; and I.C. Shah+
1994: Dr. Donald Eldredge*; Harold* and Joan Feinbloom+; Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation; and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1993: Nicholas Ferreri; Philip and Dolores* Neivert; Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.; and Wyman-Potter Foundation
1992: Borders Book Shop; Eastman Kodak Company: Elliot Landsman*; Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation
1991: Richard F. Brush
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