This was the very first fund of The Luzerne Foundation. The Founding Member of the Foundation felt it was extremely important that The Luzerne Foundation have a pool of unrestricted or general interest assets in order to best serve the various and changing needs within Luzerne County.
“ A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.” Benjamin Franklin’s legacy lives on in Luzerne County through The Luzerne Foundation. In his will, Franklin directed that after 200 years, half of the accumulated funds of his estate go to the State of Pennsylvania to be used for whatever the public officials felt was necessary. The State Legislature split the money among most of the community foundations across the state. The Luzerne Foundation’s $30,000 “Ben Franklin Trust” predominately benefits young people and educational programs within the county. Among those he has touched include the Lands at Hillside Farms, North Penn Legal Services, and the Hoyt Library.
Celebrity Luncheon is a program established in 1994 to enrich and enhance the cultural life of our community. The program brings four nationally recognized speakers to the area each year. The Fund was established from program proceeds. Grants support education, environmental preservation, economic development, and encouragement of the arts in the Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Hazleton areas.
This Fund was established by Msgr. Andrew J. McGowan during his life to support a multitude of organizations in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Monsignor delegated to The Luzerne Foundation primary discretion over distributions because of the organization’s knowledge of the often changing and most pressing needs in Luzerne County.