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Fundholder Stories

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

All in the Family »

Through The Center for Family Philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation is helping local families carry on their charitable legacies for generations to come. 

imageRaising the Bar: Why one attorney is building a case for more kindness in Greater Akron »

In October 2018, the Stark & Knoll co-founding attorney added Akron Community Foundation’s Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award to his already impressive list of distinctions. While Tom appears humbled by these accolades, it seems he’s most appreciative for the platform an award like this gives him to inspire even more good works in the community.

imageRooted in Philanthropy »

Through tragedy and triumph, one man transformed his family tree.

imageAnonymous Donor Leaves $2.4 Million Estate Gift »

When a retired schoolteacher and administrator passed away earlier this year, she left behind a lasting legacy in not only education, but also in charitable giving. Through a bequest in her will, the lifelong Summit County resident gave nearly $2.4 million to Akron Community Foundation and more than $1 million to Barberton Community Foundation.

imageRetired teacher plans for his charitable future »
As a junior in the Jackson High School marching band, Jerry Wolf met a flashy young maestro who inspired him to turn his talent into a profession. For 29 years, Jerry did just that, himself inspiring students in the Southeast, Waterloo and Mogadore school districts – first as a band director, then as a principal. “I believe I made a difference. In return, they kept me feeling young,” he says.

imagePhilanthropy at the Cellular Level »
Twenty-five years ago, Victoria Tifft lay fever stricken in a Togo, West Africa, hospital bed. It was a place reserved for natives, the very people she had pledged to serve as part of her Peace Corps mission to the small French-speaking country.

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.