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Bill Remke is thankful.
“God has been good to me my whole life,” Bill Remke said. “I have three wonderful children. I’m so busy with my business, I never had time to volunteer but I could help out financially.”
Bill is the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Remke Markets, a grocery store chain based in Northern Kentucky. He said it’s important to give back to the community that has supported the business started by his grandfather.
“People have been good to me and the Remke organization,” he said.
Bill said his donor advised fund at GCF was exactly “the tool” he was looking for to help out organizations in need. “I prefer to give to the organizations I have a greater affinity for and this is why I’ve chosen GCF,” Bill said. “GCF enables me to donate when funds are available to me rather than having to make that decision when an organization calls.”
The busy entrepreneur shared that GCF adds discipline to his giving.
“Sometimes a gift is a one-time donation, but many times the gifts are based on annual appeals or capital campaigns that require a set number of years to give. With all the variety in giving, GCF helps keep me on a scheduled giving plan that is consistent from year to year and keeps me from missing a donation.”
He’s also a fan of Donor Access, GCF’s online service that allows donors to make grant suggestions, review their funds and e-mail service requests to Foundation staff.
“I can just sit down at home or work and make a request online and not have to wait until I get around to writing a letter or filling out a request form and then mailing it,” he said. “It also gives me an immediate update to what is happening in my account, an update of organizations I have been contributing to and general information about GCF.”
Bill said his giving is influenced by the joy he receives from being a parent.
“I’ve been a parent for 30 years,” he said. “I’ve always favored organizations helping children. I seem to gravitate towards groups with children with special needs.”
“When the Lord sees fit to take me from this life,” Bill said. “My children will take over my fund.” He is confident that Lauren, 27; Monica, 28; and Matthew, 30; will make sound decisions.
“My children have had excellent guidance in their high school and college careers in the area of helping others.”
He adds that Matthew’s kidney transplant in 1995 also influences his giving; he often donates to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where Matthew received treatment.
Matthew said he and his sisters were always taught to “give back to what you’re a part of.”
“People always say you should have a passion for what you do. It’s not that my Dad has a passion for selling groceries, he has a passion for people, his employees and the community.”
Bill reflects that he’s had a great life and has been blessed.
“I’m so thankful for my children and the health they have had, I try to reach out to those who are not so fortunate.”
Bill Remke established a donor advised fund in 1995. It is part of The Northern Kentucky Family of Funds.
*This story was originally published in GCF’s 2005 Annual Report to the Community.
CINCINNATI (September 14, 2016) - The Northern Kentucky Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation will present Wilbert L. Ziegler with the 2016 Devou Cup on Thursday, September 15. The award will be presented at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Dinner.
The Devou Cup, created by The Northern Kentucky Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, honors the generosity of individuals who make a profound difference in the quality of community life in Northern Kentucky, now and into the future. Named for 19th century philanthropist William Devou, the Cup has been awarded to exemplary philanthropic leaders since 2004.
Ziegler is president and senior member of the law firm Ziegler & Schneider, P.S.C., and President and CEO of The R.C. Durr Foundation.
Ziegler serves on the board of trustees of Thomas More College, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Foundation and the UC College of Law Board of Visitors. UC has honored him both as an Outstanding Alumnus and a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. A member of Blessed Sacrament Parish since 1959, he was the first president of the Blessed Sacrament School Board. His many philanthropic efforts with his late wife, Helen, included endowed scholarships at Bishop Brossart High School, Thomas More College, and UC College of Law, where they also endowed a professorship.
Ziegler was a founding member and president of the first board of NorthKey, providing mental health services throughout Northern Kentucky for both the disabled and mentally ill. Later, as a board member of Riverside-Good Counsel, Inc. (now New Perceptions), he worked to create a facility to provide schooling for developmentally disabled children. His leadership and board service continue with BAWAC, Inc. and the Northern Kentucky Independent District Board of Health.
Ziegler has three sons and lives in Crestview Hills with his wife, Ellen Hackman Ziegler. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation salutes his generosity and lifelong dedication to Northern Kentucky.
Through the generous contributions of donors, more than $10 million in grants from The Northern Kentucky Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation have been given to organizations and programs serving Northern Kentucky.
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 2015, GCF had net assets of $533 million.
“I think there is a lot of stuff that could have been different if I had a male role model,” he said. “I don’t want my kids to be in the same situation.”
Owen is more than an active father; he’s a participant and volunteer with the Avondale/Every Child Succeeds (AVECS) father’s program, A Soldier (Avondale’s Strong Organized Leaders Delivering in Every Responsibility). The support group covers everything from taking care of babies, to finding employment, pursuing education, to just talking about what it’s like to be a dad.
One of the situations that Owen wishes he had avoided was going to the penitentiary for two years. At 31, he’s one of the older members of A Soldier and he often shares his story with younger dads.
“After that experience, I was like, ‘what am I doing?’” he said. “I tell that to everybody: go to school, get your education, go to college, do something positive with yourself because there isn’t anything out on the streets. I had to make a change within myself before I was even ready to have kids.”
A Soldier grew out of AVECS mom’s group, Moms on a Mission. Since 2006, AVECS has been providing services for first-time, at-risk moms. Participating mothers requested that the fathers have a similar program.
“It takes a village to raise a child” rings true in Avondale. Residents, churches, and businesses are all involved in AVECS programming. “We have taxi drivers; we have apartment managers who help with the referral process,” said Anita Brentley of Every Child Succeeds. A community liaison, Lafawnda Sanderson, refers moms.
“She lives in the community, rides the same bus, goes to the same grocery store, the same fashion store and they connect in that way.” You can see it in action on Wednesday mornings in the Carmel Presbyterian Church basement, where there is an atmosphere of productive chaos. Volunteers sort clothing donations; others prepare food for the evening meeting. Fathers, including Owen, paint bookshelves for AVECS children.
Marcus Murray is one of these fathers.
“I think the program is special because there aren’t too many that help fathers,” he said. “Nowadays, it’s rare that the father is in the house as much as the mother is, so this piece was important to help soon-to-be fathers and men that are already fathers to learn how to accept responsibility for their kids and be happy and teach them how to engage with kids in a loving, caring, cultivating way.”
“A lot of times, especially in the black community, young men don’t know how to articulate feelings and emotions and this teaches them how,” he added. “This also teaches us how to support one another as men in this community. I’m glad I’m part of it, I see participation increasing and I’m glad to be a part of everything it has to offer.”
Sounds like Marcus is a true soldier. And that’s something worth rounding up the troops for.
About Every Child Succeeds
Every Child Succeeds (ECS) was founded by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is a long-time supporter of ECS. It received a Weathering the Economic Storm grant of $30,000 in 2010.
Originally published in the 2010 Annual Report to the Community
Doris Leonard claims she’s ordinary.
A native of Bethel, Ohio, she was an only child raised by Depression-era parents who courted by mail.
“My mother and dad were very ordinary people, just as I am,”she said. “Nobody special, but it’s enjoyable to help someone. It really is.”
Ordinary or not, Doris has an extraordinary heart.
As a young woman, she left Washington University to return home and care for her parents until their deaths.
“I grew up with the attitude that what you have, you give back,” she said. “My parents had grownup in an era where to survive you had to share and it didn't matter if you had a lot. They never had a lot of money.”
Doris said she was also influenced by Bill Friedlander; she was his assistant for 25 years at Bartlett & Co.
She learned a lot by observing Bill and his wife Sue—she noticed that they didn't just write checks to charities, they gave of their time and influence as well.
It was also through Bill that Doris first became acquainted with GCF.
When Bill was appointed GCF’s Volunteer Director in 1990 he brought Doris with him. She got to know the Foundation and the community through her work with grants.
More than 20 years later, she’s still interested in the work of the community foundation.
“I know a lot has changed but the bottom line is the same,”she said. “You (GCF) don’t just hand out money because someone says they have a good cause. You do due diligence, you do your homework. But you also err on the side of compassion and I like that too. I like the fact that GCF is broad-based and has its fingers in so many different pies.”
When Doris found herself with extra assets, she turned to GCF for help.
“I decided, ‘let’s make this money work for somebody else,’”she said. “I know if I go through GCF, they are going to do the paperwork. They make it easier.”
By opening a donor advised fund, Doris knew she could give to the areas she’s passionate about—education, children and senior citizens. She also felt strongly about supporting the Weathering the Economic Storm Fund, established last year during the economic downturn.
Not only did this collaboration remind her of how people helped each other during the Depression, she was impressed that a group of foundations and corporations were pooling resources and making decisions together.
“I felt it was something that needed to be done,” she said. “My ten cents doesn't go very far but if you put it with somebody’s 50 cents you get 60 cents to work with and can do more with it. You leverage it.”
What would her parents think about her ability to give away money?
“They would be proud and I think they would be shocked that I have enough money to do something with,” she said. “In fact, I’m shocked.”
Doris shared that at her death, her donor advised fund will turn into an unrestricted fund and increased through a bequest.
“After I’m gone, I want the assets that I have to continue to give something back,” she explained.“God has been very good to me, much more so than I really deserve. He has blessed me in so many ways and I just want to give some of it back. I’m not a Pollyanna, I’m not a do-gooder, I’m not any of those things, I just got to thinking it would be nice.”
Not just nice. Extraordinary.
Originally published in the 2009 Annual Report to the Community
In the last 10 years, Bill Kelleher has been on just two vacations. The single father made the decision some time ago to devote his resources and free time to his hobby – giving back to local nonprofits.
Bill, a vice president with PNC Wealth Management and Institutional Investments, spends most of his free time attending nonprofit board meetings and organizing and attending nonprofit fundraising events. He’s involved with People Working Cooperatively (PWC), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Contemporary Arts Center, the Arthritis Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
It’s important to Bill that his sons, young adults living in Indiana with their mother, know how he spends his time.
“The message is, ‘this is what I’ve been doing the last 10 years – giving my time, resources and money to nonprofit organizations.’ My life has been enriched by the people I otherwise wouldn’t have met.”
It’s a mutual feeling. Chris Owens, Director of Development for PWC, is quick to compliment Bill as a volunteer.
“Bill’s commitment to PWC goes back nearly 20 years – serving on our board and various other committees sharing his talents and financial resources,” she said. “Bill very much wants the best for our city and one of the ways he demonstrates this is through his support of organizations he believes make a real and visible difference.”
Bill took his giving a step further by opening up a donor advised fund at GCF. He plans for his sons to be involved. At their first family meeting, they talked about the work of GCF and how it meets the needs of the community and how the fund will also support those needs. Not only is Bill leaving a legacy for his sons and community, he said his fund puts a structure and discipline around his giving. He took the step of creating a mission and vision for his fund, which states that he and his sons must be “active participants in the community by contributing time and resources.”
“My hope is that people who find out about GCF will see how easy and simple it is to have a fund,” he said. “This is a gift to our family that will last a lifetime.”
This “child” was a beloved poet and inspirational writer who passed away at age 81 in 1981.
Andrea and Ginny’s father, former Cincinnati Mayor Eugene Ruehlmann, was Helen’s attorney.
Helen wanted to leave a legacy that would help the elderly and needy, so Ruehlmann helped her establish The Helen Steiner Rice (HSR) Foundation.
Helen herself had experienced personal struggles. As a young woman, she gave up school to care for her sister and mother when her father died.
Later, her husband committed suicide after the 1929 stock market crashed. She persevered, turning her thoughts into beautiful verse and was known as the “ambassador of sunshine” at her employer, Gibson Art Company.
After Helen’s death, Andrea and Ginny’s mother Virginia Ruehlmann went through her papers and unpublished poetry. Inspired by her findings, an agreement was made with Gibson that enabled HSR Foundation to publish the work. Income raised from these efforts was added to the foundation.
“The combination of Mom’s efforts and a burgeoning stock market gave them a nice corpus to work with,” said Ginny, co-author of Helen Steiner Rice Ambassador of Sunshine. “The foundation grew from $1 million to $12 million.”
Andrea became the foundation’s administrator. As the years passed, the work grew and the Ruehlmanns were aging as were the foundation’s other trustees.
“Good stewardship demanded that changes be made,” said Ginny. “One of those was to turn over the original work to the Cincinnati Museum Center. Another part of good stewardship was to partner with GCF.”
Ten years ago, HSR Foundation became a donor advised fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation with the trustees as fund advisors. A longstanding plan resulted in the recent transition to a field of interest fund at GCF, with a forever focus on the areas Helen cared about most.
Since working with GCF, $4.5 million in grants have been made that support Rice’s legacy. This includes a yearly gift to the Community Foundation of Lorain County, benefiting Helen’s hometown.
Both women believe that Helen and their parents would be happy with the legacy created.
“GCF has been a fantastic steward of the fund, of Helen, and of our parents,” said Andrea.
Happily, the good works of the ambassador of sunshine and her champions will shine forever.
In my eyes there lies no vision
but the sight of your dear face,
In my heart there is no feeling
but the warmth of your embrace.
All my dreams are built around you,
and I’ve come to know it’s true
In my life there is no living
that is not a part of you.
Used with permission of Helen Steiner Rice Foundation Fund, LLC
© 1985 Helen Steiner Rice Foundation Fund, LLC
A wholly owned subsidiary of Cincinnati Museum Center
When the Withrow Dental Center opened, it had a waiting list of 200 Withrow University High School students.
These students had dental pain and decay, as well as related social and self-esteem issues.
“I have a girl who is a senior, all six top and bottom front teeth have big cavities and holes,” said Dr. Emily Hudepohl. “She has prom coming up and graduation. I’m so glad we’re getting to her before she graduates. She’s thrilled.”
While the cosmetic factor is important to the students, the center also focuses on long-term oral health.
“We want to get their mouths healthy and then give them the idea that you see your dentist every six months,” Dr. Hudepohl said. “A lot of kids are in so much pain, they don’t want to see us, or they’ve had bad experiences. But honestly, a lot of the kids just haven’t had anyone show them how to take care of their teeth.”
This Cincinnati Health Department dental center is the ninth to serve populations where there is a void in services. Withrow serves about 30 students a day, including those from other schools. After school hours, Medicaid-eligible and uninsured individuals from the community have appointments. Students that visit the center can make it their dental home after graduation. The bright office, tucked into a corner of the high school, is a happy place. Students pop in and out just to say hello to the staff who have worked hard to be accessible and remove fears.
“I’m not a dentist person but when I first came here they were real nice and understood and made sure I was comfortable,” said senior Jannai Combs. “Now when I have a dentist appointment, I’m more excited to come.”
It’s also easier. For many parents, taking time off work for appointments isn’t an option. Previously, students were bussed to other centers or put on a waiting list. With the center at the school, students do not miss as much instructional time.
Through Generous Together, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and its donors teamed up to help make the center a reality. Three GCF funds contributed to the Withrow Dental Center through Generous Together: Philip and Sheila Cohen Fund, Alexander Moore Family Fund, and the Spanbauer Family Fund.
Flip and Sheila Cohen learned about Withrow through Generous Together, which allows donors to support an organization GCF has endorsed through grantmaking.
“GCF provides a bridge between the donors and the causes or organizations,” Flip said. “GCF has presented funding needs to us that they believe match our areas of interest, which has also allowed us to expand our giving or be aware of some need that we would not have known about such as the Withrow Dental Center.”
“The students raved about the staff and the service they receive,” Sheila said. “They talked about more than the dental services, but that adults cared about them. They check on their teeth but also just check on how they were doing in general.” This care extends beyond the school day. It’s not unusual for staff to attend pep rallies and the sporting events of their patients.
“My teeth feel better,” said junior Albert Kalala. “I was in a lot of pain. Now I’m feeling better. I’m not even scared.”
That’s something to smile about.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation invested $25,000 in 2015 in the Cincinnati Health Department for the Withrow Dental Center. Donors invested an additional $10,000 to support this work. The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, a supporting organization of GCF, granted $222,456 for oral health in 2015.
Published in the 2015 Annual Report to the Community.
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