Chester County Community Foundation Hosts 25th Annual Meeting

For further information, contact:

Beth Krallis, Marketing and Communications Officer

Chester County Community Foundation , 484-887-0467

Hi-Res Photos available upon request 

2019 Annual Report in front of crowd

For Immediate Release


Chester County community Foundation HOSTS 25th Annual Meeting


West Chester, PA – (October 30, 2019):  Over 250 local philanthropists and community members celebrated the Chester County Community Foundation’s 25th Annual Meeting on October 28th at Uptown! Knauer Performance Arts Center in Downtown West Chester.


For 25 years, the Community Foundation has focused on growing long-term legacy philanthropy, so that charitable assets are available to help nonprofits thrive in challenging as well as prosperous economic times. Over the last year, the Foundation has focused on a strategic campaign to Inspire, Celebrate and Grow legacy philanthropy in Chester County. The 25th annual meeting told the story of the Community Foundation’s founding and showcased sweet memories from its 25th celebrations through two anniversary videos.

Holly Graver, Randy Christy


The first video saluted the Community Foundation’s history by celebrating its founders and highlighting pivotal board leadership. Instrumental individuals traced the history of the foundation back to its formation in 1994. The second video highlighted the Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary initiatives over the last year. It focused on memories from the April Philanthropy Video Talk Series, Silver Sweet Charity, the 25th Anniversary Party at Franny and Franny Abbott’s Party Barn and much more.

The Community Foundation also honored Patrick C. O’Donnell, an attorney at the law firm Gawthrop Greenwood, with the 2019 Door Opener Award, as a result of his estate planning work with Nancy Lynn Petersen. Best known in Chester County as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nancy left her mark on each community where she lived, actively embodying the true spirit of informed,

compassionate civic engagement. Upon Nancy’s passing in 2017, her estate attorney Patrick O’Donnell recommended that Nancy’s estate gift be earmarked to the Grantmaking Fund for Chester County. This allows the Community Foundation to make grants to honor Nancy’s civic engagement and environmental concerns for perpetuity. O’Donnell states, “Nancy’s passion for her community is now helping worthy organizations fulfill their missions, and I’m honored that I could facilitate that. It is gratifying to know that Nancy’s legacy is in the worthy hands of the Chester County Community Foundation, where her impact will live on.”

Notable elected officials including Mayor Diane Herron, Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, and Senator Andy Dinniman commended O’Donnell for helping Nancy Petersen to let her legacy make a difference in Chester County, forever. O’Donnell remarked to the audience, “Before tonight, I thought the pinnacle of my charitable career was serving on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. I was wrong.  Receiving the Door Opener award for my assistance with Nancy’s estate gift truly is the highlight of my life’s work.”

Patrick O’Donnell, Esq., Karen Simmons



About the Chester County Community Foundation

Headquartered in West Chester’s Historic Lincoln Building, the Chester County Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter, so their legacy philanthropy makes a difference now and forever.  The Community Foundation holds over $70 million in trust and annually awards $3 million in grants and scholarships.