Profiles in Philanthropy Header

Profiles in Philanthropy

Focus on LVCF Fundholders

The Lehigh Valley is fortunate to have many generous philanthropically-minded families and individuals help support the community through their more than 280 charitable funds at the Community Foundation. The following profiles highlight some of those whose charitable giving is really making a difference to improve the quality of life in our region and beyond.


Barry M. Kessler

Barry Kessler, a native of the Lehigh Valley, is a man who cares deeply about serving others in both his professional and philanthropic life.  When Barry realized that life had treated him well and given him opportunities that he never expected to have, he felt compelled to do for the less fortune. See Barry’s story….

Carole Koepke Brown

“It has meant the world to me to be involved with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation,” Carole Koepke Brown states.  “I can do things with and through the Foundation that I could never have done alone.  I didn’t have to be wealthy to accomplish my charitable goals.” See Carole’s story…

George T. Walker

George Walker lived a humble life in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  He was very generous, and he was especially careful to support organizations doing so much for their communities without asking for reimbursement or charging fees.  He liked to help those who helped others. See George’s story…

Kay & Marshall Wolff

Kay and Marshall Wolff

Although they both grew up in Easton and were graduated from Easton High School, Kay and Marshall Wolff didn’t meet until many years later.  “We were introduced by my great aunt, Elizabeth Kressler,” Marshall says, “She thought we would enjoy meeting each other.”  See their story...

Pharo Family Fund

Family foundations usually represent a significant commitment of assets and energies. The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation can provide a permanent home for family foundations when family members no longer wish to be occupied with the costs or administration of their foundations. See their story…

Lynn and Sue Ratzell

Lynn Ratzell and his family established this scholarship fund in memory of Sarah Jane “Sue” Ratzell, who passed away in 2013.  Sue was a trained nurse who worked at Miller Memorial Blood Center before retiring and applying her training to her many volunteer hours, including those with the Red Cross. See their story…

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. See Luther’s story…

Ruth and Charles Marcon

The beautiful West Allentown home of Ruth and Charles Marcon is a remarkable reflection of their lives.  Clearly, family is paramount to the Marcons. Three adult daughters, an adult son, and seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 11 months to 16 years, make life eventful and enjoyable.  See their story…

Joan A. Kraft & R. Wayne Kraft

The Joan A. Kraft & R. Wayne Kraft Memorial Fund was established in 2016 by former LVCF Board of Governors’ member, Ellen M. Kraft, Esq., in loving memory of her parents. The donor-advised fund provides grants to charitable organizations in the region, as a means of memorializing the philanthropic nature of the late R. Wayne and Joan Kraft. See their story…

Linda and Elliot Sheftel

The Sheftels knew that they wanted and needed to memorialize their son Justin after his tragic death. They also knew that they had to do something with the many gifts that had been given in memory of Justin.  Those gifts became a charitable fund at the Community Foundation and a softball tournament is held annually in Justin’s memory. See their story…

Carol (Rodgers) Jaffe & Donald Jaffe

Donald Jaffe established the Carol (Rodgers) Jaffe and Donald Jaffe Scholarship Fund in 2017 to support young men and women studying nursing at Simmons College.  This endowed scholarship fund is a tribute to his dear wife Carol of 60 years and their beautiful life together. See their story….

Joe and Diane Zawada

Establishing a charitable fund in memory of their son Ryan who battled Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor came naturally to the Zawadas.  “We dealt with so many negatives in the past,” Joe says.  “The Fund is about the future and about positives.  We’re so grateful to the Community Foundation for all the help they’ve given us in creating the Fund.” See their story…

Mike Caruso

Mike’s philanthropy has found an ideal match in the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, where he has established two charitable funds.  “I like the idea of being able to direct diverse grants from a single fund.  Philanthropy is and should be a natural part of life. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than knowing you’ve given someone the opportunity to make his or her life better.  See Mike’s story…

Michele and Michael Pessina

Following the tragic accident, the Pessina’s established a Spanish scholarship in Angela’s name at Pen Argyl High School – The Angela René Pessina Spanish Scholarship – for a deserving student who studied high school Spanish and will be attending college. See their story…


ASK Maureen | If you would like more information on starting a fund at LVCF, our Family Legacy Fund, or our Impact Services can benefit you and the community. And she’ here to help with any questions about the MyFund Portal.

Maureen Wendling

Maureen Connolley Wendling
Director of Donor Initiatives
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
840 W. Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101
Tel: 610-351-5353 ext. 16 | Maureen@lvcfoundation.org