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Private Foundation

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Fundholder Stories

The stories and passions of our fundholders are as varied as the people themselves.

imageFamily fund empowers three generations of giving »
David and Cheryl Venarge are Akron success stories, but their success didn’t come easy. Now, through the David R. and Cheryl L. Venarge Fund, they’re keeping a family tradition of giving alive with both their children and grandchildren.

imageFamily's good fortune in business turns into holiday surprise »
When Pam Perrin Kostoff recalls the history of Perrin Asphalt Company, she always comes back to a transformative moment in the 1980s. “It was the ‘80s,” she said. “St. Eugene’s Church needed its parking lot done; it was just seal coating and striping.” But, just as many businesses were at the time, Perrin Asphalt was struggling. So were her parents.

imageResident digs up connection to prominent Akron fundholder with hidden roots »
In September 2016, a Copley Township man unearthed a headstone belonging to William Stevens, a prominent businessman who lived in Akron during the early 19th century. The discovery also recasts light on an Akron Community Foundation fundholder and William’s son, George Stevens, a man whose lineage was kept secret and whose hard work is still impacting the community nearly 80 years later.

imageA story of legacy: the Pearl Leeper Korman and Sandy Korman Auburn Fund »
Pearl Leeper Korman grew up in Akron during the Great Depression, leaving college to work outside of the home, which was uncommon for women during this time. She worked full-time, even with a chronic medical condition, and went on to make a number of sacrifices to provide an enriching life for her daughter, Sandy Auburn, who, with her husband, Mark, decided to honor Korman’s legacy by establishing the Pearl Leeper Korman and Sandy Korman Auburn Fund at Akron Community Foundation.

imageCouple encourages gifts of generosity »
It’s no surprise how important the holidays are to Mary Ann Jackson: She grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a town nicknamed “Christmas City, USA.” For her, the season evokes memories of nativity pageants, caroling, and traveling house to house exchanging gifts with family. “I close my eyes and I can still smell my grandmother’s ham,” she reflected.

imageDoctor’s passion lives on through bequest »
When Pam Moran met Dr. Kenneth Swanson, her world was upside down. Despite surgery, 70 percent of a tumor remained on her six-month-old son Derek’s brain, requiring two and a half years of chemotherapy and MRIs from Dr. Swanson every six months. “I was mad at the doctors, at the nurses and at God,” she said. 

imageMother’s legacy spurs siblings’ charity »
“When I was a child, philanthropy looked like a dress-up party,” said Ann Durr, daughter of the late businesswoman and philanthropist Kathryn Hunter. “I remember going with my mom to Birnbaum’s. They had this room with a giant chandelier and a pedestal, and that’s where she would go to get an evening gown for a gala.”

imageBusiness Owners Demonstrate Love for Bath »
Two years ago, when Kevin Kroskey bought a home and an office building in Bath Township, it wasn’t just a business decision. It was a matter of the heart. “Bath had always spoken to us,” said Kevin of himself and his wife, Brandy. “There is a resounding sense of community pride and hope for the future that resides here.”

imageLocal nurse cares for community through fund »
When Mary DiDonato thinks of home, she thinks of her mother, a kind and caring woman who served others while never asking for anything in return. Mary has many fond memories of her mother’s charity, including how she started every day by serving breakfast to an elderly neighbor with no nearby relatives. 

imageHudson resident's legacy lives on through fund »
Everett Shumate had a heart for Hudson. In the 1930s, he grew up as one of the few African-Americans in the small town. After graduating from Hudson High School, Everett joined his father as an employee of the Peterson Nut Company, and for five years, he worked hard to build a good life for his family in Cleveland. But, his heart longed for home. With the help of some friends, Everett and his wife, Arthurine, built a house on Hudson’s Lincoln Boulevard and laid the foundation for his family’s future.