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Community Foundation Honors Barry M. Kessler with Vision in Philanthropy Award

Allentown, Pa., November 24, 2020—Lehigh Valley Community Foundation recently honored Barry M. Kessler with the Vision in Philanthropy Award 2020 during its virtual Board of Associates meeting. The prestigious Vision in Philanthropy Award given to those who have chosen to establish a fund at the Community Foundation as a method of supporting charitable organizations, and in so doing, have demonstrated a deep and meaningful commitment to philanthropy in the Lehigh Valley.  

“We honor Barry Kessler with the Vision in Philanthropy Award in recognition of an individual who has truly made a difference in the community by establishing several charitable funds at the Community Foundation that are providing important support in addressing substance use disorder, hunger, and housing,” said Bernie Story, President and CEO. “Notably, Barry has partnered with the Community Foundation staff to create a new model for grantmaking from area of interest funds. This model allows the donor to sit alongside us and other subject matter experts to make grant decisions in support of a cause that is very important to the donor.”

Kessler is the Co-founder and President of Kessler Chemical, Inc. In 2015, he was referred to the Community Foundation by his financial adviser, who noticed that he was growing increasingly interested in doing more with his charitable giving. His first designated fund with the Foundation was earmarked to go to the seven charities that he was personally involved with as a volunteer. Over time, Kessler became more proactive in learning about the needs of the community. LVCF helped him establish an area of interest fund utilizing the Foundation’s network and knowledge of the nonprofits in the region that address food and housing issues, and substance use disorder issues.

In April of 2019, the Barry M. Kessler Fund at the Community Foundation announced $50,000 in grants to ten nonprofits in the Lehigh Valley that provide food and housing services to vulnerable populations. In 2020, the Substance Use Disorder Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, supported by Barry Kessler provided $30,000 in grants to support three programs addressing substance use disorders.

LVCF thanks Valley National Financial Advisors who sponsored the 2020 Vision in Philanthropy Award.

See the virtual presentation of the award and Barry Kessler's comments: 

Past winners of the award include the following:

2018     Luther J. Hottle, Jr. (50th Anniversary)
2016     Ruth & Charles Marcon
2014     Linda Sheftel
2012     Carol Henn
2011     Michael Caruso
2010     Bob* & Ilene Wood
              Louise Moore Pine (posthumously)
2008     Rolland Adams (posthumously)
              Adams Family
2007     John & Ruby Updegrove
              J.B. & Kathleen Reilly
2006     Lehigh Valley Helping Hand Fund
2005     Luther J. Hottle, Jr.
              New Bethany Ministries
2004     Eleanor & Ben Boylston
              William C. Rybak (posthumously)
2003     Carole Brown
              Father Dan Gambet
2002     Debby Haight
              Ferd Thun

About Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For more than five decades, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF connects people who care to causes that matter, grow their charitable legacies, and fund nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in the region. Learn more at: www.lvcfoundation.org.

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