Bexley Community Foundation establishes two new funds

Chris Bournea
ThisWeek
Bexley Community Foundation

The Bexley Community Foundation marked its 10th anniversary by announcing two new funds to support local social services programs and outdoor recreation activities and also gave an update on the Jeffrey Mansion expansion.

In a video presented during an Oct. 1-3 virtual gathering, board President Jeff Walker said the Bexley Cares Fund was established to expand the foundation’s relationship with the Developmental Assets Resource Network and other local organizations to provide social services to city residents. Since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hit in March, the community foundation has given two $10,000 grants to DARN, a Bexley-based nonprofit organization, to provide food and supplies to Bexley families in need, Walker said. 

The Bexley Cares Fund will start with $25,000 in seed money from various existing funds to serve as matching grants, he said.

Walker said the second new fund, the Constance L. Paul Memorial Fund, will support local parks and outdoor recreation activities. 

Paul was a longtime Bexley resident, said Hallie Raskin, Bexley Community Foundation executive director. 

"Constance Paul donated over $500,000, which will benefit the Bexley Community Foundation through a legacy gift and the investment proceeds will benefit the Community Foundation into perpetuity," Raskin said. 

To date, Walker reported that the Bexley Community Foundation has distributed $3.3 million in donations to various community projects through 12 funds. The 5,361 individual donations over the past decade range from $10 to $500,000 and have been used for projects such as the restoration of the Drexel Theatre marquee, the construction of pickleball courts that opened in early October at Jeffrey Mansion and an expansion currently underway at the mansion.

The foundation initially set a goal of raising $1 million for the expansion and, due to the community’s enthusiastic response, raised the goal to $1.5 million. It eventually gave the city $1.75 million for the project, Walker said.

“The increase allows for what was to be a multi-year, phased renovation to be completed now, including the addition of an elevator,” he said. “By year-end 2020, the Jeffrey Mansion will be completed, with more than three times the functional space – all while maintaining the exterior historical façade.”

Walker also announced that this year, instead of presenting an annual Cornerstone Award to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of a person or group, the community foundation presented the award to the Bexley community as a whole to acknowledge “all of the volunteers who passed out information at the farmers market or Main Events, delivered masks to homes during early COVID months or served on our boards and committees.” 

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