Congratulations to the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, which this month is celebrating a major milestone — 40 years of making Central Florida a better place to live through its philanthropy. Throughout the last four decades, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has awarded more than 3,165 grants to 790 nonprofit organizations totaling more than $100 million in funding, making a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.
Certainly, our local arts organizations have benefited. Just one major example: The foundation sponsored the entire season of the Orlando Repertory Theatre this year — one of the Rep's main theaters is named in Mrs. Bush's honor.
The foundation also has provided support to the Crealde School and the Albin Polasek Musuem and Sculpture Gardens, among other organizations.
This spring, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation introduced a $5,000 "Art of Philanthropy" purchase award at the annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. The winning piece hangs in the foundation's offices.
In 2011, the foundation helped bring famed violinist Midori to Orlando to play in a concert presented by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
But it's not just arts groups supported by the foundation. It also has made philanthropic investments in Nemours Children's Hospital, Guardian Care Nursing Home, Heart of Florida United Way, Parramore Kidz Zone and Christian Service Center, among numerous others.
To read how the foundation has affected grant recipients and community partners, check out the foundation's website, http://www.edythbush.org.
Mrs. Edyth Bush, who died in 1972, was responsible for the formation of the foundation, which began providing grants a year later. The foundation's mission has remained: Creating innovative civic solutions that help people help themselves.
Since its creation, the foundation has been enriched by the Richard J. Conlee Fund and the H. Clifford Lee Fund. Though it does not actively solicit outside donations, the foundation will work with philanthropists to achieve their charitable goals.
Board members are Gerald F. Hilbrich, chairman; Herbert W. Holm, vice chairman; David A. Odahowski, president; Matthew W. Certo; Elizabeth Dvorak; Deborah C. German, M.D.; Harvey Massey and Richard Walsh.