Our Promise to Anna Martin and to Lorain County
In 1958, Anna Martin signed her Last Will and Testament with a provision for a simple and generous gift to the women of this area. The execution of that provision has been anything but simple. Considerable controversy and discussion ensued over property in Lorain that Ms. Martin originally left to the Lorain YWCA that was recently sold by Church on the North Coast to the developers of Lighthouse Village. Today, however, this controversy can be put to rest. I am pleased that we now have the opportunity to fulfill Ms. Martin’s legacy. The Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County was just informed that we have been selected to steward a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Ms. Martin’s property. Our intention and pledge is to give Anna E. Martin the legacy she deserves and to put her generous gift to work to better the lives of women and girls.
I purposely used the words “selected to steward” instead of “given” in the above sentence because the money held by the Community Foundation is truly our community’s endowment. As a public charity, our Board of Directors and staff are entrusted to protect both the monetary gifts and charitable wishes of our donors today, tomorrow and forever, and we take that responsibility very seriously. It’s because of that promise that more than 400 individuals, families, businesses, schools and organizations have created permanent endowment funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County to carry on their charitable dreams long after they pass. Diligent stewardship is one way we fulfill our mission to “Connect People Who Care with Causes That Matter”.
Per instructions from the Probate Court, we have created two endowment funds in Ms. Martin’s name to benefit the Lorain and Elyria YWCA’s respectively. Ms. Martin was actively involved with the Lorain YWCA, which was one of few organizations benefiting women in her day. The remainder of the proceeds has been used to create a third endowment, The Anna E. Martin Fund for Women, that will annually provide competitive grants to organizations and programs that benefit women, girls and their families.
Our promise to Anna Martin and to the residents of Lorain County is that we will protect Ms. Martin’s financial gift through solid investments and fiduciary oversight, and we will protect her charitable wishes through constant and scrupulous attention to making grants that will truly benefit the women in our community. As a responsible steward, we will report annually on the activities of these funds to the Lorain County Probate Court, but I would encourage Lorain County residents to monitor our progress in our Annual Reports, on this website, or by giving us a call.
Brian R. Frederick