Building a strong foundation in Delaware County


Jackie Johnson remembers the days when she and other community leaders met to forge a path toward a strong future for Delaware County. Nearly 20 years later, the story of how the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County began continues to inspire leaders and generous people to make a positive difference. 

New legislation had introduced the state’s County Endowment Fund Program, which distributes a percentage of gaming tax revenue to community foundations in the 84 counties that do not hold a state-issued gaming license. Foundations award 75% of those funds to charitable projects in their counties. “It was exciting,” she says. “We could make a great impact on all the communities in Delaware County.” 

Jackie still serves on the board today. In the years since the Foundation’s launch, she’s been proud to see community members give back by starting endowments that benefit nonprofits and meet local needs. She’s also proud of what the Foundation has accomplished through grantmaking[JD1] , especially around youth and recreation. “When I Iook around our county, I know we’ve touched a lot of lives,” she says. “We’ve supported many small organizations.”

The Foundation will continue to enhance quality of life in Delaware County for generations to come, and Jackie’s family is part of that legacy. She and her husband, Art, raised their children in Edgewood, and now their grandchildren are growing up there. They both worked in the community for more than 40 years and have been involved in community-building, helping found both the local golf course and history museum.

“We wanted to ensure we have good education, recreation and businesses to attract people to Edgewood,” says Jackie. She and Art have left gifts through the Foundation in their estate plan. “We know how important it is to give back.”