Legacy Society

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

Creating your legacy to build a more equitable Tompkins County is honorable. Contact our Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, Nancy Massicci, CAP, nmassicci@cftompkins.org for general advice and guidance.



Legacy Society Members’ Stories

Nina Miller

Why I am a member of the Legacy Society: Nina K. Miller, former board member and current donor advisor

“I have been incredibly fortunate. Although not what most people would call wealthy, I live comfortably, travel a couple of times a year, and cover my expenses without difficulty.

Ithaca has been wonderful to me; I had meaningful work at 3 organizations, formed lifelong friendships, raised 3 children and watched them flourish. Although I lost my husband 10 years ago, the glow of a marriage that was filled with love, mutual support and encouragement remains a source of strength.

When I began to ponder the future, I realize I want to express my gratitude to the community that has nurtured me. My children have solid educations, and each a good work ethic. They manage their lives effectively, and while two of the three cope with some financial stress, they are proud and independent. They have a strong commitment to philanthropy.

My financial plan provides funds to help them as they move along in their lives. Still, there seemed to me no reason to leave everything to them; I have seen the damage done to “trust fund babies” who never had to define their work goals, and for whom things come too easily. That is one of the reasons I am leaving a portion of my estate to several organizations including Community Foundation.

I have watched with great pride and pleasure as the Community Foundation has grown. I delight in the thoughtful support provided to important programs in the community. The Foundation serves as a catalyst for important community conversations and has its finger on the pulse of local needs. Investment returns are infinitely better managed than I could hope to do on my own.

In addition, having served in human service organizations, all of which have benefited at one time or another from Community Foundation grants, I know how critical it is to have funds to pay the rent, cover salaries and other operating essentials. Too often these are not seen as “sexy”. Many donors only want to fund programs but not the infrastructure an organization needs. Therefore, I deeply appreciate the ability to direct funds not only to compelling programs but also to essential operating budgets.

Bequests are the easiest kind of giving. I urge you to consider how to most effectively take care of loved ones and invest in a place that we all call home.

Community Foundation is pleased that Nina Miller came forward to be part of our Legacy Society. Her caring commitment to this community is long-standing, and we are so appreciative of her extended commitment through this magnificent gift.

For more information on giving opportunities, please contact Nancy Massicci, Chief Development Officer, nmassicci@cftompkins.org or 607-272-9333, ext. 205.

More on Planned Giving


Looking forward, thinking back

Legacy Leaving an Imprint: 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 the 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 (10)
  • Seth J Adams
  • Dilmeran Akgoze
  • Elizabeth Anderson
  • Ann Argetsinger*
  • Beverly Baker
  • Maryanne and Richard Banks
  • Helen Bayer*
  • Mary Berens
  • Sara E. Blackwell*
  • Samantha Castillo-Davis
  • Susan Christopherson*
  • Millicent Clarke-Maynard
  • Karen Comstock
  • Lenore Coral*
  • Gerry and Caroline Ulrey Cox
  • Marlaine and Richard Darfler
  • Barbara DeWall
  • Mary Pat Dolan & David Kerness*
  • Eileen Driscoll
  • George P. Ferrari, Jr.
  • Stephen & Elena Flash
  • Robert H. Frank & Ellen McCollister
  • Linda Gasser
  • Marie Gast*
  • Mariette Geldenhuys
  • Jean* and Carl Gortzig*
  • Maureen Rebecca Hanson
  • Teresa V. Harris*
  • Howard P. Hartnett*
  • Dalva* and Jo-Ellen F. Hedlund
  • Barbara Hulbert
  • Beth Jenkins*
  • Claudette Sis Johnson
  • Sarah L. Johnson
  • Alfred E. Kahn*
  • William and Carol Klepack
  • Klug & Shera Charitable Trust
  • Vally Kovary
  • Tomas Kucera
  • Arthur Kuckes
  • Mary E. Larkin*
  • Ronald Liso
  • Anna Mahool*
  • Robin Abrahamson Masson
  • Ann C. Mathews*
  • Philip and Mary Lu McPheron
  • Carolyn J. McPherson
  • Nina Miller
  • Susanne M. Morgan
  • Suzanne Motheral
  • Jane Mt. Pleasant
  • Susan H. Murphy
  • Anthony Pane
  • Taylor Peck
  • Nancy and Alan Pedersen
  • Robert Riter
  • Bernard C. Rosen*
  • Helen Saunders
  • Carol Scheele
  • John Semmler*
  • Shelley Semmler
  • Ann Shumate*
  • Rachel J. Siegel*
  • Irene Silverman*
  • Sheryl Sinkow
  • Joe and Marney Thomas
  • Frank and Melanie Towner, Crossroads Enterprises
  • Charlie and Nancy Trautman
  • Mack and Carol Travis
  • Jay and Sandy True
  • Yohko Kirsch Tsuji
  • Bruce and Martha Turnbull
  • Julie Waters and Marrie Neumer
  • J. Dix Wayman*
  • Jeanne A. White*
  • Martha Wright
  • Gene and Jeanne Yarussi
  • Joel and Cathy Zumoff
  • ∗deceased



quote Community Foundation Donor Advisor

Helping the place where you live has been great.