The luncheon included highlights of the Community Foundation’s past fiscal year, an inspirational keynote address by retired president of The Duke Endowment Gene Cochrane, and the announcement of the recipients of the 2019 Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award.
For the past fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2019, Board of Directors Chairperson Cindy D. Causby reported that more than $4.4 million in charitable grants were awarded through CFHC in 2019, which was the largest single-year amount for grants in the Foundation’s history. The Community Foundation received $5.5 million in new contributions this past fiscal year, and total assets reached a record high of $111 million. More than 94 percent of funds at CFHC are endowed, meaning that they will grow more resources over time, now and forever.
CFHC President/CEO McCray V. Benson took a moment to remember the lives of beloved community members and CFHC Board Members, Tom Darnall and Patricia Jones. “Tom and Pat were always thoughtful and willing to participate in building an even better community,” said Benson. “They have now passed the torch that we must carry forward.” Senator Chuck Edwards and Shirley McGee, who recently completed their board term with the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, were thanked for their leadership and service to the organization. Marilyn Gordon, Bill Hale, Matthew Henry, and Edward Rowe were recognized as new members of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Board member Caroline Gunther shared that over the past decade the most common need found in our community has been food. Food insecurity is an early indicator of challenges within other aspects of personal lives, and those can all be factors affecting one’s ability to achieve self-sufficiency. This past year, CFHC convened key “safety-net” service providers to determine what would help get them to the next level of capacity so that they’re able to serve clients’ needs for food and address the underlying causes of their food insecurity.
“We will continue helping provider groups build bridges and create strong links to the next level,” stated Caroline. “As our community progresses, one measure of success we believe possible is to see a reduction in food insecurities. We are committed to helping our community find this new level of success in seeing needs decrease over time.”
Keynote speaker Gene Cochrane shared insight on how philanthropy benefits each generation, and how giving can become a defining element of who we are and who we want to be.
“Be positive, and you can help. You can make a difference,” Gene said. “We must be willing to take risks and willing to accept the necessity of failure. We must uphold the highest ethical standards, embrace transparency, and hold ourselves – and one another – accountable for doing so.”
The Community Foundation’s highest award – the Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award – was presented at the conclusion of the luncheon. Named for the Sauers, the award exemplifies the generosity of a husband and wife team who supported many local charities during their lifetimes and then left the first $1 million unrestricted gift to the Community Foundation through their will. Their endowment, along with other gifts, provides resources to numerous causes throughout Henderson County.
Hall and Sonja Waddell were honored with the 2019 Sauer Charitable Leadership Award. “The 2019 Sauer Award recipients come from a family with roots now encompassing a breadth of five generations across our community’s heart and history,” said CFHC Board Member and Sauer Recognition Committee Chair Stan Duncan during the presentation. “The Waddells are a bridge connecting the past to the present and are continuing to be pivotal influencers in health, education, business, religious life, and are always cognizant of the quality of life in Henderson County.”
The Waddell family has been instrumental in growing the Community Foundation of Henderson County since its inception. They selflessly contribute of their time, treasure, and talent to multiple agencies in Henderson County and beyond. Hall Waddell served on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors in the infancy stages and continued service in a variety of capacities from 1983 to 2010.
Sauer Award Winners are distinguished philanthropic leaders in our community. Past recipients include: Grace V. Poli, Bernd and Toby Linder, Phyllis C. Rothrock, Ruth Birge, Thos. R. Shepherd, Mary R. Garrison, Dr. Stuart and Carola Cohn, Marian P. Lowry, Teddi Segal, Robert and Doris Eklund, the Dr. Kathleen McGrady Family, Jeff Miller, Duane and Peggy McKibbin, Dot Marlow, Dr. Colin Thomas, Frank Byrd, Tom and Sue Fazio, Eleanora Meloun, Marcia Caserio, William "Bill" F. Stokes, Jr., William E. "Jamie" Jamison, Kermit Edney, Morris Kaplan, Kenneth Youngblood, and Frank Wyttenbach Ewbank.
About Community Foundation of Henderson County Founded in 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County’s mission is helping people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter. CFHC accepts gifts from individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create a permanent pool of charitable capital from which grants are awarded. Learn more about Community Foundation of Henderson County at www.cfhcforever.org, at the Community Foundation’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and by calling (828) 697-6224.