Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

William Kenneth Schmitt Fund

A Family's Wish for a Lasting Legacy

Born before the Great Depression, Darwin and Ruth Schmitt met in college, fell in love and now reflect on all the blessings they have experienced in their 65 years of marriage, including their children and grandchildren, their church and having the ability to give back.

The family moved around the country as Darwin’s career in engineering took off and eventually landed them in Buffalo. When the company he worked for was sold, Darwin retired, and the couple saw an opportunity to reduce their tax burden by funding future charitable wishes while honoring their son who passed away as a teenager.

For more than two decades, the Schmitts have enjoyed supporting causes that are important to them in their community and beyond, in their son’s name. The couple has been impressed with how far their funds have stretched over the years.

“We set up the fund in 1988 and since that time, I think it has doubled in value and we have paid out more than double the value through the Community Foundation to issues and causes important to us,” said Darwin. “I wish the Foundation was handling all my finances. It is so exceptionally good.”

The Schmitts trust that the Community Foundation will be a good steward of their generosity for generations to come.

“We appreciate that there is a very thorough process to ensure that these precious grant dollars are spent as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Ruth. “When you have been blessed a lot, you really need to pass it on.”

“We both came from humble beginnings with parents that instilled in us strong values that we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren.”

-Darwin Schmitt

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