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:
The Wayne County Community Foundation
214 Ninth Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
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