On November 8, Berks County Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Reading. More than 100 civic leaders attended the event, which included brief presentations by the Community Foundation’s program officers and an overview of the year by Kevin K. Murphy, foundation president.
“This year marked the culmination of our plan to increase our impact in Berks County by expanding the number of program officers working on specific causes,” Murphy said. “Our annual event gave us the opportunity to introduce these new faces to the community.”
The program officers oversee distributions from more than 346 charitable funds that were created by Berks County residents to support causes in the community that were important to them. In fiscal year 2023, those grants and scholarships totaled more than $6.2 million. That brings the total amount of grants and scholarships distributed since the Community Foundation’s founding in 1994 to over $101 million.
In addition to Murphy, who provided a recap of the West Reading Disaster Relief Fund, attendees heard from:
Vice President for Programs and Initiatives Monica Reyes about an effort underway with the Berks County Medical Society to share the results of a study about public health released by the Berks County Commissioners this year;
Health and Human Services Program Officer Cindy Milian about the work she oversees to support animal welfare and to assist families who have children with special needs;
Environment and Energy Program Officer Emily Smedley about grants that are increasing energy efficiency for local organizations and grants that are improving soil health by monitoring the flight patterns of birds of prey;
Lifelong Learning Program Officer Kim Sheffer about teacher mini-grants, which support innovative classroom projects across Berks County.
Details about each of these initiatives are available in the Community Foundation’s 2023 Annual Report.
In addition to learning about the work the Community Foundation is undertaking, attendees were invited to pick up a brush and add their touch to a Berks County mural, and to listen to a trio of local student musicians.
If you’d like to join the Community Foundation at future annual meetings, please send your name and email address to email@example.com and ask to be added to the invitation list. If you’d like to learn more about the Community Foundation, including how to start a charitable fund of your own, visit www.bccf.org.