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A Breath of Fresh Air

It takes a special group of people to know when it’s time to go out of business.
 Top: Mrs. Starbuck Smith, Jr., Fresh Air & Convalescent Aid Society president, GCF director Mark Upson and GCF founder William E. Anderson. (Used with permission, The Cincinnati Post, May 2003) Bottom: Aerial view of the Fresh Air Farm in Indian Hill.
Top: Mrs. Starbuck Smith, Jr., Fresh Air & Convalescent Aid Society president, GCF director Mark Upson and GCF founder William E. Anderson. (Used with permission, The Cincinnati Post, May 2003) Bottom: Aerial view of the Fresh Air Farm in Indian Hill.

It takes a special group of people to know when it’s time to go out of business.

For 64 years, The Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society operated a Fresh Air Farm which brought mothers and their children out of the crowded tenement areas during the hottest months of the summer for two weeks of good food, comfortable living, and planned recreation in the country.

As times changed, the need for the Fresh Air Farm in Indian Hill became obsolete. 

The Society’s board was a very special group of women, and their timely decision to use their resources in another way proved to be just what the fledgling The Greater Cincinnati Foundation needed to get started

In 1963, just after the Foundation was established, The Society gave its endowment to GCF with the provision that Stepping Stones Center could operate its camp on the property for as long as the Center remained in existence.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is grateful to the Fresh Air Society board for its forward-thinking generosity in making this serendipitous gift. 

The initial gift of $600,000 is an endowment worth about $2 million today and income has been used for grantmaking for almost 50 years. 

Following their fine example, this selfless act of generosity has been repeated many times by many donors throughout the Foundation’s history.

Read about a GCF donor who spent time as a child at the Fresh Air Farm

May 2010



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