Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona

The Legacy Foundation — A light in the dark

Commentary by Lanny A. Kope

September 18, 2020

Herald/Review Media

The year 2020 will not be remembered with a great deal of positive perspective by anyone.

However, be that as it may, there have been lights in the dark — the Legacy Foundation being one of them that shone brightly. The actions of the Legacy Foundation under the leadership of CEO Margaret Hepburn and her staff continued to provide financial and humanitarian support to various social agencies in Cochise and parts of Santa Cruz counties. In essence, the Legacy Foundation has kept the light of hope burning brightly.

The foundation administered five different grant programs throughout the year. First of all there were scheduled grant programs such as Fast Pitch, Strategic, Innovative, and Responsive that addressed different organizational needs in a variety of ways.

​Over the years, the Foundation has provided $6,726,773 in grants and sponsorships to not-for-profit organizations. In 2019 alone, the Foundation distributed $1,085,000 in grants and sponsorships to 78 organizations.

In addition to scheduled grant programs, there was the Emergent Grant Program which was activated to help organizations needing help because of an unforeseen happening such as the coronavirus. In 2020, the Foundation granted $325,601 to 60 organizations impacted by COVID-19.

The one in-cycle grant program currently being administered is the Responsive Competitive Grant Program.

Each year the foundation joins forces with The Arizona Community Foundation-Cochise to provide assistance to organizations in need. Recipients are granted up to $5,000 for one year based on their needs and application. Applications for grants that are focused on population health and community wellness are reviewed and granted by the foundation. Other social areas were addressed by the Arizona Community Foundation.

Last Tuesday, the Legacy Foundation awarded $60,286.00 to 18 organizations needing assistance. It was absolutely marvelous and gratifying to see the diverse needs that were being met by the organizations who received Legacy Foundation grants

These organizations included ones like Smiles for Veterans, which helps our veterans lacking financial resources and who do not qualify for care under VA guidelines obtain critically needed dental care. They literally put a smile on the face of those who served.

Other recipients were SAWS Southwest who provides mobility to low-income, permanently disabled individuals through the construction of high quality wheelchair ramps. SAWS is a faith-based nonprofit organization which is instrumental in providing freedom to low-income, permanently disabled individuals through the construction of wheelchair ramps to the exterior of the homes.

​Then there was the Be Kind People Project in Palominas and Naco. This project is dedicated to providing students with a positive and comprehensive youth development program.

And the list goes on: Personal space protection such as desks and lockers for the Bisbee homeless; the GRACE program, assisting those coming out of incarceration get drivers licenses, birth certificates, and other needed documents; supporting the County Master Gardener Association with school field trips, education and seeds; repairing the Douglas Food Bank’s roof and installing coolers; providing telemedicine follow-up from Fry Fire Department’s EMT service for people afraid to be transported to the ER because of COVID 19; helping with food and transportation for senior citizens in Patagonia; enabling the Volunteer Interfaith Caregiver Program to improve the ride scheduler service; Mentoring Cochise Kids’ program with startup costs to establish local presence in Benson/Sierra Vista Kids; permitting the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra to establish the 2021 Children’s Concert and STEM Experience which has many positive uplifting features.

Commenting on this year’s program, Hepburn said, “This year our Responsive Grant Celebration had to be conducted remotely, but don’t let that diminish the significance of this event. The awardees worked hard for their grants; they worked hard all year long and deserve to be well recognized. Congratulations to all the awardees. We are so proud of the work being done by these wonderful organizations.”

LANNY A. KOPE, EdD has been a hospital trustee for over forty years, serving on urban and rural hospital boards. He is the past Board Chair of Sierra Vista Regional Health Center and has had a national responsibility as Chair of the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance.  Dr. Kope is also a University of Phoenix faculty member in Health Care.

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