Ben Franklin Community Service Award

In his will, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “I wish to be useful even after my death.” When he died in 1790, he left £2,000 (the equivalent of about $354,000 in 2022) in a trust fund to be specifically used and saved for 200 years. When the time came, the accumulated funds were to be divided between the Cities of Philadelphia and Boston and the Governments of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to be used toward what was deemed most needed. 

In keeping with Franklin’s philosophy, the Pennsylvania General Assembly directed the perpetual “Ben Franklin Trust” be established and that the interest be used to benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth. On December 17th, 1990, Governor Robert P. Casey signed Act 1990-173 into law, approving the then sum of $834,000 to be distributed to Community Foundations in Pennsylvania. 

The Wayne County Community Foundation applied for a distribution from this fund and was awarded nearly $20,000 in 1995, establishing what is now our Ben Franklin Community Service Award. 

Each year, a member (or members) from our community is selected for their positive impact on the betterment of Wayne County.  $1000 is given to the recipient who then presents it to the local service organization of their choice. 

Past Recipients of the Ben Franklin Community Service Award:

  •     Edwin J. Thomas     1996
  •     Robert and Inger Stovall     1997
  •     Walter and Marilyn Barbe     1998
  •     Chuck and Wanda Jurgensen     1999
  •     Kent Brown     2000
  •     Sally Talaga     2001
  •     William and Paula Roos     2002
  •     Robert Knash     2003
  •     Peter and Molly Rodgers     2004
  •     James and Shirley Chapman     2005
  •     Joe Murray     2006
  •     Russell and Evelyn Ridd     2007
  •     Warren Schloesser     2008
  •     Bill Bursis     2009
  •     Harold Shook     2010
  •     Patricia and Leroy Spoor     2011
  •     Charles and Dorothy Grimm     2012
  •     Kuni Holbert     2013
  •     Elizabeth Baerenklua, Kathryn Highhouse, Virginia Motsko     2014
  •     Gary C. Beilman     2015
  •     Ann O'Hara, Jane Varcoe     2016
  •     Arthur and Gail Frey      2017
  •     Donna Decker 2018
  •     Paul and Sandy Meagher     2019
  •     Fred and Mary Murray    2020
  •     Henry Skier    2021
  •      Mike and Allyson Cavage 2022
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