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“Rather than have a big tombstone and all, I thought it would be better to have a scholarship fund” said Colonel Cecil Himes of Rocky Ridge, Alabama. It was a good fit for him to know his insurance benefits would be paid out to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to establish to Fred C. and Jennie Himes Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“Batavia High School was very good to me and allowed me to go on to college and establish a career,' Col. Himes said.
He was so grateful for the opportunities he had through his education that he felt compelled to return the favor. He truly felt honored that he was able to help provide opportunities to Batavia graduates through a 4-year, $1,500 scholarship. As class president for three years and member of the Drama Club his scholarship awarded assistance to students who not only excelled academically but were active in various school activities.
Col. Himes was not only grateful to give back to the school that meant so much to him, he was also proud to give back to a community he never forgot although he moved away and travelled a great deal with the military. “After graduating from West Point and starting his military travel he still considered Batavia his home. He called it Cincinnati’s largest suburb,” commented Mrs. Himes
Not only has his fund provided opportunities to graduating students, it has also allowed him to honor the memory of his parents, Fred C. and Jennie Himes. “After the death of his mother (his father had died earlier) he wanted to do something in their honor and what better way than to establish a scholarship in their honor.”
Through Col. Himes’ generosity, the number of lives he has changed is profound. The students who have received scholarships always kept in touch through receptions and letters. Cincinnati is such a close community Mary Pitcairn, GCF’s Giving Strategies Officer, ran into a recipient on her bus route. A recent college graduate and employee at Fifth Third Bank, this recipient recalled how life-changing the grant was. Without his scholarship, a college degree would not have been a reality. Mrs. Himes explains, “Col. Himes has been so proud of every one of the recipients.”
He enjoyed a prestigious military career of 30 years. After his retirement he returned to school to continue his education, receiving his MBA from Samford University in Birmingham. During his retirement he enjoyed dancing, traveling, fishing and golfing. He also enjoyed gardening and his neighbors enjoyed his tomatoes.
Sadly Col. Himes passed away in 2009. His humble, generous spirit will be missed but his legacy and affect on young Batavia High School graduates will continue forever.
Find out more about giving through GCF.
“The students’ mother has been able to give us some parent-like experiences, like freshman orientation,” Julie said. “It was wonderful.”
Chuck retired from Great American Insurance Group, and Julie from social work. They are so busy with charitable work, including Chuck being on the governing board of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, that he calls it a “rewirement.”
Covington and its students hold a special place in their hearts.
Anne Nethercott has lived her life following her mother’s advice — give an egg, knit a sweater.
“My parents went through the Depression and you
gave to your neighbor, even if it was only an egg, or
you knitted a sweater,” she shared. “Giving is part of
living, you know. You have to do it. If you don’t, you
think too much about yourself. My mother used to
say, ‘the best way of finding yourself is losing yourself
and helping your brotherhood of man.’”
Anne and her husband Jim, who passed away in 2009,
made helping others a lifestyle.
The Canadian couple moved to Cincinnati for Jim’s
job at Procter & Gamble and immersed themselves
in their adopted hometown through volunteering.
Their church, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and
the YMCA were among the many organizations that
benefited from their time. Avid travelers, the Nethercotts
opened their home to international students
and helped establish the Sister City program with the
former Soviet Union.
“They always placed their focus on others, not on
their own needs,” said daughter Sandra Waters. “My
parents were not ostentatious people. My Dad didn’t
have a fancy watch or a fancy car. This was not a value
“I remember once at Thanksgiving, we had three kids
from Longview Hospital for dinner,” she said. “I’m
sure it was designed as a teaching moment for me.”
Jim ultimately became the Chief Financial Officer of
P&G. His success just reinforced their belief that you
only need so much money to live on and you should
give away the rest.
With their daughter’s encouragement,
the Nethercotts sought out GCF to help establish
By working with Amy Cheney, GCF’s Vice President
for Giving Strategies, they established a series of
funds that reflect their wide range of interests.
Nethercotts entrusted GCF to carry out grantmaking
in areas they cared about — including educational
improvement, early childhood education, community
and racial harmony, and employment. One of the
funds will provide resources across the Nethercotts’
whole spectrum of interests, but will give GCF the
privilege and responsibility of making unusual, sizeable
grants that can “significantly improve the quality of life
in the Cincinnati area.”
“The Nethercotts were just a joy to work with,” Amy
said. “They were extremely thoughtful about what
was important to them and what changes they would
like to bring about in their adopted hometown. It is
quite possible that their bequest will be the largest
GCF has ever received. We are honored and humbled
that they chose us to carry out their legacy.”
Anne is still giving back in a very personal way. She
volunteers with the Sarasota Symphony and is involved
in raising scholarship money in both Sarasota,
Florida and Cincinnati.
And she knits. She knits hundreds of blankets for
Alzheimer’s patients and earmuffs for soldiers in Afghanistan.
Her mother would be proud.
Originally published in the 2009 Annual Report
CINCINNATI (Nov. 9, 2015) — The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to announce the political commentator Cokie Roberts will be the next speaker at the annual "A Conversation With..." event on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programing, as well as for NPR. In more than forty years of broadcasting, she's won countless awards, including three Emmys and has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
Ms. Roberts is a bestselling author, holds more than twenty honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several non-profit institutions, and on the President's Commission on Service and Civic Participation. The Library of Congress named her a "Living Legend," one of the very few Americans to have attained this honor.
Sponsorship opportunities are available, and host and hostess tickets are now on sale. Individual tickets will go on sale on Monday, January 25, 2016.
The event will start at 5:30 and will be held at the Cintas Center at Xavier University, 1624 Herald Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45207.
Find out more about A Conversation with Cokie Roberts
The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation leads our community in ensuring the economic self-sufficiency of women in our region. Get involved at cincinnatiwomensfund.org.
CINCINNATI (May 1, 2017)—The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to announce our partnership with The Enquirer to bring you the 49th annual Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on October 23, 2017. The Foundation is so pleased to help carry on this great tradition.
The Women of the Year Awards will continue to pay tribute to the ambitious, passionate, and smart women who have committed to improving our region. If you would like to nominate a woman for this year's award, check back in mid-June.
This special and well-earned recognition for exceptional women has been a tradition in our community.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
As you plan your holiday and year-end giving, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to assist and be your philanthropic partner.
Your new fund can be established quickly. Call to discuss your charitable goals with a member of GCF’s Giving Strategies Group and decide which type of fund is best for you and your family. The date of the gift transfer to GCF is most important - it will determine whether your gift qualifies for a 2017 tax deduction.
To ensure your grants are received by the charitable organizations you support before December 31, please submit your recommendations to GCF before Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Find out more about how to add assets to your fund.
GCF will be working throughout the holiday season to facilitate your charitable giving. Our office is open from 8:30
a.m.-5:00 p.m. on weekdays with the exception of December 25, 2017, and January 1, 2018.
To talk about arrangements for your year-end giving and grantmaking, please call our Giving Strategies Group at
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
Updated Nov. 17, 2017
As Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) continues to expand its focus on racial equity, we are committed to pursue opportunities that advance those goals. We are excited and proud to share the latest steps on that path: GCF has been selected, through a competitive process, to participate in Community Foundations Leading Change’s (CFLeads) second annual Community Foundation Equity Network.
The cohort, built on the knowledge that peers learn best from each other, will include six foundations — Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Jackson Community Foundation, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation and Waco Foundation, in addition to GCF. The year-long learning opportunity was developed in response to community and national foundation interest in advancing equity through deeper understanding of the issues involved.
“As we work to advance equity in our region, we are honored to participate with this cohort of other community foundations to learn and share innovative ideas and best practices that will inform our work, leading to even greater impact and, ultimately, a more equitable Greater Cincinnati,” said Harold D. Brown, GCF Vice President, Community Strategies.
Two to six participants from each team — including their CEOs and at least one board member — will meet over the course of a year to institutionalize capacities needed to advance equity both within the organizations and in their communities. Among the topics to be discussed: data, policy, grantmaking and internal policies and practices. GCF participants will include Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO; Harold D. Brown, Vice President, Community Strategies; Meghan Cummings, Executive Director, Women’s Fund; Rickell Howard Smith, Director, Community Strategies; and Delores Hargrove-Young, Board Member, Chair/Community Strategies Committee.
Equity has been a long-standing organizational priority for GCF. Since the early 2000s we have made intentional choices in our strategic initiatives, community investments and internal operations to ensure that everyone in our region has opportunities to succeed.
From GCF’s support of the creation of the Collaborative Agreement and Community Problem Oriented Policing in 2003 to the convening of the All-In Cincinnati Equity Coalition in 2017, we have become known for supporting equity initiatives through both community leadership and convening and financial investment. That investment has included GCF’s largest single award in the history of the foundation — a five-year, $1.8 million grant to the Family Independence Initiative to support participants as they determine, together, their paths to move beyond poverty.
Most recently, our equity work has brought to life two impactful research reports commissioned with local and national partners and released last year: All-In Cincinnati: Equity is the Path to Inclusive Prosperity and Giving Black: Cincinnati, A Legacy of Black Resistance and Stewardship.
This year, we are convening multiple Racial Equity Matters sessions throughout the year (www.gcfdn.org/rem). As a gift to the community, GCF and its generous partners and donors are underwriting first-year trainings costs to build community awareness about the program’s value to advance impactful communication.
GCF is grateful for the support of our generous donors and stakeholders as we make strides toward an equitable future for everyone in our community. Thank you for taking the journey together with us.
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