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LVCF Establishes Geographic Affiliate in Upper Bucks County

Allentown, Pa., December 18, 2017—The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) has established its first geographic affiliate—The Upper Bucks Community Fund of the Lehigh Valley. The new fund is an extension of the Upper Bucks Grants Committee’s previous role in conjunction with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.

The Committee has a long history of making a positive impact in the Upper Bucks community, most notably, by directing resources from two area-of-interest funds at LVCF, the Erwin J. & Gertrude K. Neusch Fund, and the Richard E. Gasser Fund.

“We are so pleased our good friends and colleagues from the Upper Bucks Grants Committee will serve as the advisory board of our first geographic affiliate fund at the Community Foundation,” said Bernie Story, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. “As a geographic affiliate, the advisory board will establish its own priorities, direct grants from discretionary funds, and cultivate donors to raise new funds and continue to grow endowments that are already in place.”

Long-time member of the Committee Robert Moffett, Esq., a Quakertown-area attorney and member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Governor praised the work of the group. “I have been working with The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation for almost 30 years, and in that time, it has made a remarkable contribution to the nonprofit groups in Upper Bucks County and in all of the Lehigh Valley,” he explained. “We are excited about working together in our expanded role as a geographic affiliate and having an even greater impact in Upper Bucks moving forward.”

More than 50% of community foundations in the United States have established community affiliates to serve a defined region.  By establishing a community affiliate fund at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, community leaders can concentrate on addressing local issues, developing donors, and focusing on programs, without being impeded by the legal, administrative, and fiduciary challenges of starting and maintaining a separate foundation.

A History of Grantmaking in Upper Bucks County

The Upper Buck Grants Committee has been an important philanthropic arm of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. The intimate knowledge of the people and organizations which serve the community is extremely valuable and results in careful and thoughtful grantmaking in Upper Bucks County.

For more than 20 years, the Neusch Fund has provided grants to nonprofit organizations that serve and benefit residents in Upper Bucks County. Grants from the Fund are made for education programs, the visual arts, industrial arts, and the preservation of rural life. The Committee has directed 28 grants totaling more than $63,000 in 2016 and 2017 to a variety of organizations. In 2017, the committee awarded grants ranging from $10,000 to $1,600 from the Neusch Fund. Grants supported the Heritage Conservancy’s Wildlands and Woodlands Stewardship Science program, the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program, Springfield Township’s 275th Anniversary and Community Day, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Churches Joyful Noise Music Festival, Quakertown Alive’s Arts Pocket Park and Mural project, among others.

The Gasser Fund provides grants to benefit programs, organizations, and residents in the Upper Bucks County area that benefit education, interest, and achievements in technology and science fields. The fund provided 13 grants totaling more than $23,000 in recent years. During the most recent grant cycle, the Gasser Fund supported the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s STEM Program in Bucks County, Palisades School District’s programmable robotics for elementary school program, and St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital’s Medical Careers program.

“The extensive charitable work that each member of the Upper Bucks Grant Committee has put into their lifelong careers greatly impacts the influence of the Neusch and Gasser Funds,” noted Story. “The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation is grateful for the good work and thoughtful direction of the group, who utilize their community knowledge to ignite change.”

Meet the Upper Bucks Community Fund Advisory Board Members

Margaret Ann Hellmann, a Bucks County local, serves her community through her career and more. For 30 years, Hellman worked for Eagle Shirtmakers, serving as Director of Marketing Services and Manager of Systems Operations. She then worked as an EDI Specialist and Manager of System Security for Synthes, a multinational medical device manufacturer that was later purchased by Johnson & Johnson. Beyond her career, Hellmann has spent her time on the Quakertown Borough Planning Commission for five years and as a member of the Board of Directors for Quakertown Historical Society for nine years. She now serves on the Upper Bucks Grants Committee, sharing her community knowledge to help make imperative decisions.

Doug Hutchinson, a native of Doylestown, Pennsylvania has spent his life serving others in the community. Hutchinson has maintained the position as Consistory, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary at his church. He was a board member of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years, serving as the President and Treasurer. Hutchinson was also the President, Treasurer, and a Trustee for the Board of Directors of the Upper Bucks YMCA. For 18 years, he served as a chair member of the Quakertown Rotary Club. Hutchinson has also helped others through his time in the Air Force when he served as a wing weather officer. He later worked as an engineer at Bethlehem Fabricators and served as an Administrative Assistant to the President. In 1976, he started an accounting practice now known as the Hutchinson, Gillahan, & Freeh, P.C. Hutchinson now extends his avid service to the Upper Bucks Grants Committee, which has helped him to maintain his extensive community dedication.

An avid history buff and antique connoisseur, Alan Miller, resident of Pleasant Valley aids in making decisions for the Upper Bucks Grants Committee. For over 45 years, Miller ran a restoration business, restoring some of the most important American antique furniture now on display in numerous museums and private collections. While pursuing his passion, he also served on the editorial board of American Furniture the Journal of Record in the Field, published by the Chipstone Foundation. Miller also has a charitable drive that has led to his membership on the Advisory Board of the Morris Arboretum and his service as Chair member of the Horticulture Committee and the Physical Facilities Committee. While continuing his service on the board, he also has been sharing his time with the Upper Bucks Grants Committee, continuing to aid the County in a plethora of ways.

Robert G. Moffett, Esq. is a self-employed attorney who strives to advocate for those in need. Moffett’s civic services range from being a member, President, and Director of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, serving as Legal Counsel on the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce Foundation, acting as Board Member and President of the Quakertown Rotary Club, taking on the role as Life Member, past President, Director, and Legal Counsel of the Upper Bucks Sertoma Club, along with serving as the Co-Founder, Charter Member, and past board Chairman of the Central Bucks Sertoma Club. Moffett also extends his services to Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County, the Bucks County Legal Aid Society, the Bucks County Law Library, the Quakertown Historical Society, and the Bucks County Open Space Advisory Board. For many years, Moffett has assisted the Upper Bucks Grant Committee, working to further serve his community in a positive way. 

Stephen H. Smith, M.D., is a retired Orthopaedic surgeon, who has continued to outstretch his helping hand to the Lehigh Valley Community. For 31 years, Smith worked at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital, serving as the Chief of Surgery and President of the Medical Staff. During this time, he also helped those in need by working at law firms advocating for malpractice defense, workers’ compensation defense, and patent defense. After his retirement, he continued to perform surgeries in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Smith extends his community service to the Springfield Township Planning Commission as Vice Chairman, and as Chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force. He served as a board member of St. Luke’s Quakertown Community Hospital for over 30 years. Smith served as President of the Cooks Creek Watershed Association Board, along with the New Church Publications Committee. With Smith’s avid community involvement, he serves as a valued member of the Upper Bucks Grants Committee.

The newest member of the committee, Susan B. Ziegler is a resident of Coopersburg, Pa. who lived in Springfield Township for 30 years. She recently retired after four decades in public service, including the last 20 years with the Bucks County Free Library and a decade at the Emmaus Public Library. She has previously worked as a training coordinator, public services director, and collection development director. Susan has been active in the community, serving as chair of Springfield Township Parks and Recreation Board, and as a member of the Springfield Township Open Space Committee.

About the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For five decades, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has helped donors with their charitable giving with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF is a philanthropic hub for the Lehigh Valley—who know and navigate the landscape of the Lehigh Valley’s community needs to connect people who care to causes that matter.