Legacy Society

The Legacy Society honors and assists generous individuals who establish a planned gift with the Community Foundation with the long, future outlook of perpetually benefiting the communities and organizations in Tompkins County.

You can name the Community Foundation in your will, as a beneficiary in retirement assets, in life income agreements, trusts, real estate and/or life insurance. You can name any of the existing numerous funds as a recipient. Please consider investing in the community this way. Reach out to us to learn more or to request a packet of information. We have provided a story below to inspire you as you think about helping in this way:


One Donor’s Story – I had a strong opinion, but I changed…
Ruth Jones (not her real name),Community Foundation donor advisor, is committed to education! After 40+ years in Tompkins County serving children, upon retirement, she looked to continue to support students at her previous employer’s institution. Passionate about young people, she started a donor advised fund with the intent to support just students. In the first three years, she made several educational grants, as planned.

The Community Foundation staff invited her to participate as a Review Team Member to review grant applications to support youth, aging, animal welfare and the environment. Through this experience, she learned a great deal more about the needs of vulnerable youth as well as other needs in the community. Ruth sprang into action with new ideas of how she would invest in our community. First, she removed previous restrictions from her Fund and, second, she began nominating grants to a broader array of needs. Then Ruth changed the name of her Fund to the “Community Enrichment Fund” to better reflect her more diverse grantmaking interests. Seeing the impact spurred her to contribute more gifts into her Fund. Recognizing her long term commitment to our community, she gave an ultimate gift! Last but not least, Ruth updated her will to direct that at her passing her Community Foundation Fund assets are to support unrestricted programs, services and grantmaking.

As of March 2017, Ruth continues to volunteer on Grant Review Teams, and makes grants to a range of organizations! She feels passionate about vulnerable youth, yet her grants go far beyond education; addressing food security, community arts, library services, homelessness and mental health services.

Thank you to Ruth and all generous people who are the engine behind this thriving community! Your support inspires others to better see and understand the value the Community Foundation brings to Tompkins County both today and tomorrow.

More on Planned Giving


Legacy, leaving an imprint

Looking forward, thinking back

Looking forward, thinking back

Sheryl Sinkow, photographer, donor, Legacy Society member

Tell a story. Share one’s sense of community and meaning. There are many ways to convey experiences; through words … and images.

International and Ithaca, NY based photographer, Sheryl Sinkow,  has experienced many challenges throughout life, including her bouts fighting cancer. Her courage, strength, and creativity are very much reflected in her photographs.

As a local business woman, Sheryl met with her attorney, Robin Masson, and made plans to carry forward her philanthropy as part of her estate planning. As a member of the Legacy Society, Sheryl’s naming of Community Foundation will benefit the communities and organizations of Tompkins County in the years to come. We thank you for your generosity and faith that you have placed in us.

For more about Sheryl, click here: www.sinkowphotography.com 

Community Foundation values the work and expertise of local professional advisors, such as Robin Masson. Her work as attorney, mediator, Community Foundation board member, as well as service on many additional boards, including Planned Parenthood, Community Dispute Resolution Center and the Estate Planning Council of Tompkins County has truly strengthened this community.  Robin shares: “When I discuss the idea of leaving a charitable legacy with estate planning clients, some express concern that the agencies they might like to support won’t be around in the future or that our community’s needs will change over time. I am happy to be able to recommend a bequest to the Community Foundation with the confidence that it will exist in perpetuity and will be positioned to meet the needs of our community as they evolve.” 

Please click here for additional resources available to professional advisors.



If you have already made a planned gift and have not yet informed us, we invite you to share this information with us. Legacy Society members are acknowledged, according to their individual wishes, either by name or anonymously. 

Legacy Society Members

  • Anonymous (5)
  • Ann Argetsinger*
  • Beverly Baker
  • Maryanne and Richard Banks
  • Mary Berens
  • Sara E. Blackwell*
  • Samantha Castillo-Davis
  • Lenore Coral*
  • Gerry and Caroline Ulrey Cox
  • Barbara DeWall
  • Eileen Driscoll
  • George P. Ferrari, Jr.
  • Robert H. Frank & Ellen McCollister
  • Marie Gast*
  • Mariette Geldenhuys
  • Jean and Carl Gortzig
  • Maureen Rebecca Hanson
  • Teresa V. Harris
  • Howard P. Hartnett*
  • Dalva E. and Jo-Ellen F. Hedlund
  • Barbara Hulbert
  • Beth Jenkins*
  • Claudette Sis Johnson
  • Sarah L. Johnson
  • Alfred E. Kahn*
  • William and Carol Klepack
  • Vally Kovary
  • Tomas Kucera
  • Arthur Kuckes
  • Mary E. Larkin*
  • Jemma Macera
  • Anna Mahool*
  • Robin Abrahamson Masson
  • Ann C. Mathews
  • Nina Miller
  • Susanne M. Morgan
  • Suzanne Motheral
  • Taylor Peck
  • Robert Riter
  • Bernard C. Rosen*
  • Helen Saunders
  • Carol Scheele
  • John Semmler
  • Shelley Semmler
  • Rachel J. Siegel*
  • Sheryl Sinkow
  • Mack and Carol Travis
  • Jay and Sandy True
  • Yohko Kirsch Tsuji
  • Bruce and Martha Turnbull
  • J. Dix Wayman
  • Thomas Weiler
  • Martha Wright
  • Gene and Jeanne Yarussi
  • *deceased



quote Gifford Pinchot

The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.