Margot Barnhardt fondly recalls the 30 years she lived in Hampton Roads. She grew up in Pittsburgh, lived in various cities and retired to North Carolina but partnered with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to create four permanent, endowed funds to benefit the region she calls home.
"I like what you do and that you cover a broad area," says Margot, a retired nurse. "There is nothing to compare with that."
In 2004 Margot surprised the community foundation staff when she popped by to deliver a $10,000 check. After she did the same the following year, a conversation with staff members convinced her to start her own endowed fund. She did that in 2005 by donating enough to create the unrestricted E.C. Barnhardt III Memorial Fund in memory of her husband and the Virginia Dietrich Williams Fund for Women and Children, a field-of-interest fund that honors her friend from Norfolk.
In 2013 Margot started two more funds in memory of two of her children. The Diane Reilly Hartzog Memorial Scholarship Fund helps send to college students interested in library science or English -- fields Hartzog studied. The William Thomas Reilly III Fund is a field-of-interest fund that provides grants to environmental organizations her son would be pleased to support.
"I like sharing what I have with others," Margot says. "It's fun."
Virginia Beach's Sandbridge beachfront region is the adopted home of retired veterinarian John Settle and his wife Audrey, a retired Philip Morris USA executive. The couple moved in 2003 from Richmond to their favorite vacation spot and embraced their new community as full-time residents, volunteers and philanthropists.
At the Hampton Roads Community Foundation they are charter members of the Community Leadership Partners active philanthropy group. They arranged for a future bequest to start a fund, and in 2013 accelerated their plans by starting the Dixon-Settle Fund for Women, a field-of-interest fund, that pays tribute to Audrey's mother Eddythe Dixon, who worked with women's issues and ran a job training center in Detroit.
The couple started a current fund after their attorney suggested doing that "while we are alive so we can see the good we are doing," Audrey says.
Trisha Rawls of Norfolk donates to the Community Fund for Arts and Culture to help a variety of nonprofits bring music, theater, art and dance to Hampton Roads. As chair of the Norfolk Arts Commission, Trisha is passionate about giving area citizens access to all kinds of arts and culture.
Trisha retired a few years ago as founding executive director of the Business Consortium for Arts Support, which provides annual operating support to 33 groups in South Hampton Roads. The Consortium benefits each year from Community Fund for Arts and Culture grants provided by donors like her who value the impact the arts have on area residents.
"If I can add to the arts a little each year through the Community Fund for Arts and Culture, then I feel really good," Trisha says.
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