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Capstone Celebrates 50th Anniversary Year, Announces Reflections Paper and Igniting Change Fund

Allentown, Pa., January 30, 2018— The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) celebrated the completion of its 50th anniversary year of special “Be the Spark” grantmaking on January 24 at ArtsQuest in Bethlehem, Pa. The Community Foundation recognized its donors, celebrated the Spark grantees, and announced its anniversary legacy gifts—the Lötter Fellow Reflections Paper, and the Igniting Change Fund. Nearly 200 community leaders, donors, and grantees attended the program.

After a welcome from Bernie Story, LVCF president and CEO, Ellen Millard-Kern, chief of staff for State Senator Pat Browne, and Joe Kelly, district director for State Senator Lisa Boscola presented a proclamation from Senators Browne, Boscola, and Mario Scavello.

Mike Stershic, LVCF CapstoneMike Stershic, immediate past chair of the Board of Governors, presented a recap of a very successful year and shared a video presentation from Kickoff to Capstone: By the Numbers.  “There is not a better way for our community foundation to celebrate its milestone anniversary than to focus on a year of special grantmaking,” Stershic said. “The theme of this special year was Be the Spark!  Be a spark of awareness, a spark of connection, and a spark of change.  So, ultimately it was not just a year of grantmaking, but also a year of community engagement and awareness building that resulted in additional gifts of over $100,000 from other individuals and organizations that were inspired by the 50th Anniversary to give to LVCF’s efforts.”

Cindy Lambert Durham, LVCF CapstoneCindy Lambert Durham, member and past chair of the Community Foundation Board provided a glimpse into the future direction of the Foundation. “I am excited to announce two Anniversary Legacy Gifts to the community,” she explained. “First, the Lötter Fellow Reflections Paper, led by Dr. Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, and second, the Igniting Change Fund, which is a new series of Community Foundation grants that will be awarded to programs addressing the findings of Dr. Borick’s Reflections Paper.

Christopher Borick, LVCF Capstone Christopher P. Borick, Ph.D., director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, named the LVCF Lötter Fellow in November 2017, provided an update on the progress of his capstone research project that is focused on identifying community needs in the Lehigh Valley.  “One of the things we’ve seen so far that is striking is that the type of work being done is addressing many needs, but every time you see a need being met it uncovers other needs and challenges.”

Antonia Grifo, LVCF CapstoneA special Igniting Change grant program was announced by Antonia Grifo, Esq., chair of the Community Investments Committee, which directs and oversees the Foundation’s discretionary grants. “The Igniting Change Fund is a new series of Community Foundation grants that will build on and expand the momentum of the Spark Grants,” she noted. “We want to not only be the spark, but we want to ignite change.  We cannot shut the door on the progress we have made in the past year, and instead we plan to do even more.”

Board chair W. Beall Fowler presented the prestigious 50th Anniversary Vision in Philanthropy Award to Luther J. Hottle, Jr.  “The Community Foundation thanks Mr. Hottle for his passion and commitment, and we are honored to present him with the 50th Anniversary Vision in Philanthropy Award,” Fowler said, “We are so pleased that Mr. Hottle supported the Community Foundation’s work and funded the 50th Anniversary Reflections Paper with a grant from the Lötter Family Fund.”

Bernie Story LVCF CapstoneBernie Story brought the program to a close and shared a video, Thank You, Lehigh Valley, acknowledging the Spark supporters, sponsors, partners, committee members, grantees, and the Fiftieth Anniversary Board. He also alerted the crowd that one of the 50th Anniversary Premise Maid chocolate bars distributed during the event contained a Golden Ticket and that the Community Foundation would make a grant to one of the Spark Grantees in the name of the holder. Robin Cunconan-Lahr, board chair of Mikayla’s Voice received the Golden Ticket and directed the grant to the organization.

See the photos from the event (LVCF Flickr Gallery)


About Christopher Borick

A professor of political science, Christopher Borick is the director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. His research and teaching interests are primarily in the areas of public policy and public opinion. He is a nationally recognized public opinion researcher who has conducted over 250 large-scale public opinion surveys during the past fifteen years. The results of these surveys have appeared in numerous periodicals including Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

About Luther J. Hottle, Jr.

Born in Fountain Hill, Luther Hottle graduated from Fountain Hill High School in 1948. After graduation, he worked as an office boy at The Morning Call, and he sold donuts in a local bakery. He was offered employment at Sarco Manufacturing but decided instead to work at Bethlehem Steel, where he worked as a machinist until his retirement. Luther has lived in his cozy Fountain Hill home for 58 years.

The Luther J. Hottle Fund at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation was established in 1998.  Grants support the assistance of the blind and visually impaired as well as the Community Foundation’s Community Partnership Fund.  The Community Foundation celebrated Mr. Hottle’s commitment to the evolving needs of the Lehigh Valley by presenting him with the Vision in Philanthropy Award in 2005.  In 2013, Mr. Hottle established the Lötter Family Fund in honor of his daughter and son-in-law, Linda & Etienne Lötter. 

Mr. Hottle doesn’t think of charitable giving in terms of legacy.  Providing consistent support to local charities is what is important to him.  He is pleased to continue to contribute to the Community Foundation’s work and to honor his daughter by supporting the 50th Anniversary Reflections Paper with a grant from the Lötter Family Fund.  The Community Foundation thanks Mr. Hottle for his passion and commitment, and we are honored to present him with the 50th Anniversary Vision in Philanthropy Award.

About the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For five decades, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. We are a philanthropic hub for the Lehigh Valley—we know and navigate the landscape of the Lehigh Valley’s community needs to connect people who care to causes that matter. It is our mission to improve the quality of life in our region, to encourage collaboration among area philanthropists, and to serve as a source of information and expertise regarding charitable giving.