This year the York County Community Foundation (YCCF) is celebrating 60 years of partnerships with givers who created legacies that extend beyond their lifetimes and probably beyond their imaginations. People like you and organizations like the one you work for, give to the Community Foundation because they know that giving to an endowment means their gift will be magnified by wise investments, annual donations to charitable organizations, and preservation of the balance for future generations.
You may recognize their names or been touched by the generosity of these givers.
A successful business owner in the heating industry, Charlie Eyster was ahead of his time. He was passionate about energy conservation long before it was mainstream. Because of his forward thinking, the Charles D. Eyster Energy Fund at YCCF was created in 1992 to carry on Charlie’s mission. Grants from the fund led to the first LEED-certified school building in Pennsylvania – Clearview Elementary in Hanover. Grants have also helped dozens of York County nonprofits save more than $8 million in energy costs through conservation practices – dollars that can be used toward their missions. And, thanks to the power of endowment, Charlie’s gift continues generating grants to promote conservation and achieve his vision.
While many people have heard of Dollars for Scholars (DFS), a national program to provide scholarships for high school students with local chapters in communities across the country, few may know that YCCF’s Eugene Struckhoff was the catalyst that helped DFS take off in York County. Struck’s vision was to increase the number of York County students that attend college. In 1994, an $8,000 seed grant from the Struckhoff Family Fund launched a campaign to encourage local communities to create DFS chapters at area school districts and establish endowments at YCCF to support annual student scholarships. Today almost every school district in York County has a DFS chapter or scholarship organization and YCCF holds $9 million in scholarship funds that award $400,000 annually to hundreds of students across York County so they can pursue their dreams.
YCCF is carrying forward Isabel Anderson’s goal to sustain the farming way of life in York County. Isabel grew up in York’s farming community and though she became a professor at Temple University and moved to Philadelphia, she retained her love of our community. In 1994, Isabel established the Robert R. Anderson Family Fund with a $1 million gift; a first at YCCF. In the past 26 years, her gift generated more than $1.3 million in grants and has helped preserve thousands of acres of land, assisted farmers with best management practices, and awarded scholarships to future farmers. While farming life has changed during this period, the Anderson fund still has over $1 million endowed to maintain the beauty and bounty of York County that Isabel remembered.
Originally from southern Virginia, Michael and Eloise Newsome never intended to stay in York very long. But a peculiar thing happened along the way – they started giving to the community and the community responded. Coming from humble beginnings, Michael used to drive through the York City neighborhoods, and be reminded of his former home. Because of its focus on the community’s greatest needs, including neighborhood revitalization, YCCF’s Fund for York County was the right vehicle for Michael and Eloise to continue their community work and develop the legacy they hope to leave in York. The Newsomes’ gift, combined with hundreds of other gifts to the Fund for York County, gave YCCF the flexible resources to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund to help York’s resident’s through the crisis.
We are deeply grateful to all those who have built a strong community foundation in York County, the fourth largest in Pennsylvania. 60 years ago YCCF started with $6,850 in gifts. In 2020, we received $8 million in gifts and awarded $6.8 million in grants, nearly 100 times more than we originally started with! All because of generous givers. Their gifts have helped fuel community transformation in York County for the past 60 years, and thanks to these visionaries, our community will continue to grow stronger for decades to come. It makes one think, what will your legacy be?
Jane M. Conover, MSW
President & CEO
York County Community Foundation