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Foundation announces Sauer Award winners

Community Foundation member Stan Duncan presents the Sauer Award to Ron and Norma Rosenberger. Community Foundation member Stan Duncan presents the Sauer Award to Ron and Norma Rosenberger.

Community Foundation of Henderson County celebrated their 2019-2020 year in a virtual annual meeting where the recipients of the 2020 Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award were announced. The Foundation’s traditional in-person Annual Luncheon held each August was cancelled due to current public health conditions.

The Community Foundation’s highest award — the Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award — was presented at the conclusion of the video. The award exemplifies the generosity of a husband and wife team who supported many local charities during their lifetimes, and then left the first $1 million unrestricted gift to the Community Foundation as a planned gift. Their endowment, along with other gifts, provides resources to numerous causes throughout Henderson County.

The 2020 Sauer Charitable Leadership Award was presented to Ron and Norma Rosenberger, who were interviewed about their philanthropy in the video. The Rosenbergers have been involved with the Community Foundation since 1999. Their benevolence supports more than 20 organizations and programs every year.

“It is my pleasure to have presented this year’s award to Ron and Norma Rosenberger,” said Foundation Board member and Recognition Committee Chair Stan Duncan. “The Rosenbergers have been quietly giving back for decades, are deeply committed to helping others and continually strive to leave their community better than when they came.”

“To even be considered for this high honor leaves us speechless. Being included in such a list of previous Sauer awardees is most humbling,” Ron and Norma Rosenberger said. “God has blessed us beyond measure, so giving back of our time and resources has been a priority. We plan to continue our focus on philanthropy and use the Community Foundation of Henderson County as an excellent vehicle to help facilitate and professionally accomplish our choices.”

Sauer Award Winners are distinguished philanthropic leaders in our community. Past recipients include: Hall and Sonja Waddell, Grace V. Poli, Bernd and Toby Linder, Phyllis C. Rothrock, Ruth Birge, Thos. R. Shepherd, Mary R. Garrison, Dr. Stuart and Carola Cohn, Marian P. Lowry, Teddi Segal, Robert and Doris Eklund, the Dr. Kathleen McGrady Family, Jeff Miller, Duane and Peggy McKibbin, Dot Marlow, Dr. Colin Thomas, Frank Byrd, Tom and Sue Fazio, Eleanora Meloun, Marcia Caserio, William "Bill" F. Stokes Jr., William E. "Jamie" Jamison, Kermit Edney, Morris Kaplan, Kenneth Youngblood and Frank Wyttenbach Ewbank.

For fiscal year ending June 30, the Foundation reported $4.2 million in new contributions from generous donors and more than $4.4 million awarded in charitable grants. The foundation’s assets stood at $105.9 million with 94 percent of those assets being permanently endowed, meaning that they will grow more resources over time to provide charitable support now and forever.

Community Foundation President/CEO McCray V. Benson took a few moments to reflect on the past year including the Henderson County COVID-19 Response Fund that was established as a joint effort between Community Foundation and United Way to support local nonprofits that were serving those immediately impacted by the disruptions of COVID-19.

“Through the generosity of our community, 41 nonprofits received support of $439,236 to provide essential services to those affected by coronavirus disruptions,” shared Benson. “This pandemic crisis has unfortunately generated a multitude of challenges, and its heavy toll will long affect the community’s philanthropic services, the programs they provide, and the clients and families who are striving to improve their lives. The Foundation is committed to working with our partners to support Henderson County and the people who live here.”

Cindy Causby completed her term as Chairperson of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors and reflected on her two years of leading the organization. She then passed the torch to Bill McKibbin who began his role as Chairperson in July. Les Boyd was also recognized and thanked for his eight years of service to the organization.

The annual meeting video included highlights of the Community Foundation’s past fiscal year and grantmaking, in addition to the announcement of the recipients of the 2020 Sauer Charitable Leadership Award. The video can be accessed through Community Foundation’s website,