The Crawford Heritage Community Foundation has received the single largest gift to its Unrestricted Fund. A bequest from the estate of Patricia Ann Downer of Pittsburgh, amounting to more than $280,000, was finalized in September. The gift was made in memory of the donor’s parents—Andrew McAlister Downer and Irene C. Downer.

The amount of the Unrestricted Fund has grown to more than $1 million. The foundation expects to increase annual grant awards from $30,000 to more than $40,000, an increase of approximately 30%.

They make discretionary grants twice yearly from the Unrestricted Fund and five other grant funds. Their goal is to assist non-profit organizations meet the changing opportunities and needs in Crawford County. Grants are made county-wide with preference given to projects that incorporate preventive or curative approaches to addressing community problems. Gifts to the foundation are permanently invested to ensure that money will always be available in the future. Each year, the foundation gives back a percentage as grants. Much more than the amount of the original gift will be given out over the course of time.

“We are deeply grateful to Patricia Downer, whose generosity helped us to reach this milestone. I knew Ms. Downer only through correspondence we exchanged when her mother passed away in 2005. I was heartened that she had such faith in us that she selected us as a beneficiary of her own estate. I hope others will follow her example and use us to fulfill their charitable objectives,” says Christian Maher, Executive Director of the foundation.