Archive for October, 2008

In 1914 Frederick Harris Goff (1858-1923), a lawyer and banker, created the Cleveland Foundation, the first community foundation in America and the world. It was a period in Cleveland civic history when new ways to organize and make the city’s charitable efforts more effective were being tried. His idea and leadership made the Cleveland Foundation the first foundation to be run by a community for a community, accessible to all donors whether of modest or wealthy means, true to a published mission but also flexible to change with changing society, secular and nondiscriminatory in regard to religion, culture, race,or any differences. He also advocated the foundation board look at the “Dead Hand” of trust fund instructions that no longer served a viable charitable goal. He wanted the rededication of obsolete trust funds to be done openly by a board responsible to the community.

Within a short time Goff’s new concept was being used to create other community foundations across America. The first Canadian community foundation was formed in 1921. The Great Depression and world wars disrupted the growth but after WWII the concept spread over South America, the United Kingdom, Africa, Australia, and Western Europe. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe joined in the creation of community foundations with some smaller countries using a single community foundation to serve the entire country.

There is no way to know how many community foundations there are in America today because the number compiled includes senior foundations only. No counting of affiliates is made, so it is anyone’s guess at the big total that counts all community foundations. A guess of around 1,500 may not be far off. At the time Goff was serving Cleveland he put into action a world class concept. Hopefully he realized some of this reach before he died.

Goff also created the first living trusts in America. For a man whose work has extended into every American community and a big chunk of the rest of the world, one would expect to find at least one scholarly work on him, but not true. A scan of the web references to Goff shows everyone copying someone else. The freshest source on Goff is http://findagrave.com/ which gives a shot of his grave marker in the Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, plot Section 10. The Cleveland Foundation has a philanthropic service award named in his honor.

Since writing the above I received in the mail a little book by Nathaniel R. Howard, The Trust For All Time: The Story Of The Cleveland Foundation And The Community Trust Movement, the third publication on Goff I have fished out of the backwater of Ohio history, this time with the help of Tess Kindig of Garrison House Books for only $15.95. The book has lots of fresh material on Goff I think you will enjoy. Tess may be able to find a copy for you, so try her at http://www.garrisonhousebooks.com  Charles Marlin

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It is unexpected and arresting to find something delightful in The Wall Street Journal, unless you take their Opinion section for the Comics section of a real world newspaper.  Yet, there it was in the Personal Journal section of the Thursday, October 16, 2008 paper.  Beth DeCarbo writes “Pop Art Pooch: Turning Photos Of Pets Into Digital ‘Paintings,'” comparing four online services that turn a photo image of your favorite pet or husband into something that looks like art.  It is clearly a fun project that will keep giving pleasure for a lifetime.  And the prices were not bad, in fact modest.  Charles Marlin

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We all know that Vermont is full of people who often do things the rest of us would never consider. Well, at least not in public, except for this tabouleh salad. This is something that could unite the rest of America with Vermont. I experienced it in St. Johnsbury VT and have tried it several times in Clarion County. It is great as a salad or side, and wonderful for pot luck gatherings. There are a lot of tabouleh recipes out there and they sound great, but this one I know because I have used it.

1 cup bulgar wheat

1 cup boiling water

1 large finely chopped fresh tomato or 2 medium

1 medium finely chopped sweet onion

juice from 1 large or 2 small lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 large finely chopped garlic clove or 2 small

Make sure the water is boiling when you combine the bulgar and water. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Combine and fluff everything except the tomatoe, then add the tomato. Chill and serve.  Charles Marlin

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On March 13, 2007, a group of Clarion citizens signed a contract with the Bridge Builders Community Foundations to become an affiliate known as Clarion County Community Foundation.  Our historic ties go back to the much older Venango Area Community Foundation established in 1975 which served Venango County as well as Clarion and Forest Counties.  In 1985 Stephen P. Kosak became the first professional Executive Director, with an office in Oil City PA.

Under his leadership the number of funds grew to well over sixty, but most of those funds were located in Venago County.  This prompted Kosak and the VACF to reorganize as BBCF, an administrative foundation, with three community directed affiliates, the VACF, the CCCF, and the Forest County Community Foundation.  Our boards of directors are local and our administrative office is Stephen P. Kosak, Executive Director, Email: steve_kosak@verizon.net Telephone (814) 677-5085, and location 213 Seneca Street, P.O. Box 374, Oil City PA 16301.

In our first year we developed a strong working board and took responsibility for two previously established endowments.  We created our first field-of-interest Unrestricted Endowment Fund.  In our second year we completed our Bylaws and created two additional field-of-interest funds, the CCCF Operating Endowment, and the Rare Gift Endowment Fund.

We are ready to assist any organization, family, or individual to establish an endowment trust to serve their charitable goals.  We are also able to take over the administration of a previously established fund with efficiency, integrity, and growth.  Just call us for details.  Charles Marlin

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Our banner logo is an antlered underwater panther, mythical creature, taken from one of many prehistoric petroglyphs at Parkers Landing on the Allegheny River in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.  When low water level made fishing easy, prehistoric area residents gathered at Parkers Landing for a summer chautauqua.  They fished, feasted, socialized, governed, provisioned, and educated.

The flat rocks were cleaned, the art outlined with red ocher, then the storytellers used the petroglyphs, our antelered underwater panther for example, to teach traditions, values, behavior, skills, identity, and certainly not lease to entertain.  These are all things we hope to do with the endowment funds of the Clarion County Community Foundation.  And we locate our efforts in Clarion County as did those early artists and storytellers.

For a scholarly article on Parkers Landing rock art, see Kenneth Burkett and Edward Kaufman, “On The Rocks at Parkers Landing,” Pennsylvania Archaeologist 75(1):29-48.  If you have a chance to talk with Ken Burkett who helped me understand our logo you will find him both a gentleman and a scholar.  It will be the best part of your day.

And a special thanks to John Hink for putting together our banner.  My skills do not reach that far.  Charles Marlin

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