A $2.5 million gift from a York City couple provides long-term, grant-creating power for the York County Community Foundation, said Bill Hartman, its president and chief executive officer.
The foundation announced Thursday that its Fund for York County received the gift from the estates of Lillian R. Whitmire and Roland M. Whitmire.
This is the fund's greatest gift ever, Hartman said.
The Fund for York County provides grants for community improvement efforts. The gift fits into the foundation's commitment to take on a strong role in helping identify the community's needs and determining how they can be resolved, Hartman said.
"We're helping to see that we are marshaling the right resources together by making grants for initiatives of high impact and convincing the right people or organizations to collaborate to make the necessary improvements," he said.
The couple, who had no children, were married 58 years and lived most of their lives on West Philadelphia Street. Lillian Whitmire died in 2007 at age 85. Her husband died four years later at age 89.
Lillian Whitmire retired from trust department of the former CoreStates Bank in 1982. Ronald Whitmire retired in 1988 from the outside plant engineering department of GTE North, now Verizon.
After their retirements, the couple worked with their local attorney Jon Countess - with local CGA Law Firm - to develop an estate plan for the rest of their lives and after their deaths.
"They were very pleased to learn about York County Community Foundation and its ability to help donors drive improvement in their community for many generations," Countess said in a statement.
The $2.5 million gift will help create improvements in the foundation's focus areas of education, downtown revitalization, aging issues and general community improvement efforts.
To draw donations to its funds, the foundation asks attorneys and professional advisors to recommend the foundation for gifts from clients' estates, said Hartman and Patricia Azriel, the organization's director of communications.
"Roland and Lillian Whitmire have created a legacy where their generosity will drive improvement in the York Community in perpetuity," Hartman said. "We're so thankful that (Countess) introduced the important role of the (foundation) to them. Their legacy will forever be in good hands."
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.