Community Foundation to Inspire, Celebrate, Grow Legacy Philanthropy at the 27th Annual Meeting

(West Chester, PA – August 10, 2021): The Board of Directors of the Chester County Community Foundation are pleased to announce the 27th Annual Meeting, taking place in a hybrid format on October 25th. Guests can reserve a spot in person at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester or stream the meeting on YouTube. The meeting will overview some of the Community Foundation’s initiatives to inspire, celebrate and grow legacy philanthropy.

The Growing Philanthropy portion of the Annual Meeting will outline the Foundation’s Food for Thought series, grant panels, and Door Opener Award. Food for Thought evolved during COVID from monthly in-person discussions for nonprofit board and staff to a virtual format with COVID-focused topics. In 2021, Community Conversations: Food for Thought further evolved into online discussions to enlighten and engage the community on social justice issues. Similarly, grant panels expanded during COVID to include new community members, representing an important value: Everyone can be a philanthropist.

Each year the Chester County Community Foundation grants the Door Opener Award to a professional advisor for opening doors to legacy philanthropy. During COVID, another philanthropy connector emerged: technology. The Community Foundation is pleased to recognize former board member David Elderkin, Technology Advocate, as this year’s Door Opener for his role in strengthening and expanding the Foundation’s digital presence.

The Community Foundation will highlight the Marjorie L. & Arthur P. Miller Jr. Charitable Fund for Inspiring Philanthropy. For Art and Marge Miller, environmental conservation goes hand-in-hand with philanthropy. The Millers established their Fund in 1998 to award grants for school-based environmental education initiatives, environmental research, and the creation of community parks. Their dedication enables communities to conserve and protect natural resources such as streams, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife areas.

Lastly, to Celebrate Legacy Philanthropy the Community Foundation will honor the life and legacy of Penelope “Penny” Perkins Wilson. Penny was a generous Chester County donor and driver of bold ideas for the future. Her memory lives on in the beautiful places she helped build, and the model she set for a life well-lived. The Community Foundation is honored to carry forth Penny’s wishes with the Penny Charitable Fund established in her estate plans. Penny’s creativity, wit, and perseverance will be missed but celebrated forever through her legacy.

Karen Simmons, Chester County Community Foundation President, and CEO comments, “The Community Foundation is eager to highlight many high points from the last year at our annual meeting. Chester County has once again proven its resilience, generosity, and commitment to community. We are all eager to return to normal in-person gatherings and hope a hybrid event format will safely welcome the public, and open access to all community members to join.”

The 27th Annual Meeting is open to the public and free of charge. COVID-19 safe receptions will be held at Uptown immediately before and after the event, at 4:15 pm and 6:15 pm. RSVP by October 15 to (610) 696-8211 or to reserve a place in person. The meeting will adhere to all CDC and local health guidance measures in place at the time of the event. The annual meeting will also be available to stream on YouTube. Visit for more information.

First photo caption: Dave Elderkin

Second photo caption: Art and Marge Miller

Third photo caption: Penelope “Penny” Perkins Wilson


About the Chester County Community Foundation

Headquartered in West Chester’s 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 nearly $90 million in trust and annually awards $4.5 million in grants and scholarships.