March 1, 2011

African-American Community Fund Receives Largest Single Gift

The African-American Community Fund (AACF), a permanent fund group of The Dayton Foundation, has received a $650,000 gift from the estate of Pearl A. Dale for the Pearl A. Dale and Audrey Parker Scholarship Fund. The gift represents the largest single gift in AACF’s 19-year history and the realization of a dream of Pearl Dale to help graduating African-American students attend college. The fund also honors the memory of her sister, Audrey Parker.

"This gift represents a milestone in the history of the African-American Community Fund, which today incorporates 115 funds, of which this now is the largest," said Royce Johnson, president of the AACF board of trustees. "Through her diligence, thoughtfulness and charity, Miss Dale has created a significant financial resource for individuals pursuing a college education. She has demonstrated a fervent vision and a sincere concern for her community. We are honored that Miss Dale has entrusted her charitable wishes to AACF and The Dayton Foundation. Her gift symbolizes the sacrifice and achievement of the philanthropic spirit. Considering that we celebrated the accomplishments of many African-Americans last month during African-American History Month, Miss Dale’s gift is certainly timely, relative and quite special."

Born in 1915 to William and Anna Dale, Pearl Dale experienced first-hand the barriers that African-Americans of her generation faced in pursuing a better life for themselves. In a letter written to The Dayton Foundation in 1990, she recollected the many hardships she encountered as a single African-American woman trying to make her own way. "There were movies I had to miss because I would not allow myself to be segregated to the balcony. I often felt like a fish swimming against the tide," Dale recalled. The desire to help others pursue their dreams without the difficulty she endured decades ago is what inspired her to create the fund.

Dale was raised with her sister, Audrey, and brother, Walter, on their parents' farm in Carlisle, Kentucky. Her parents managed to send all three children to Kentucky State College (now operating as Kentucky State University) in Frankfort, Kentucky, a remarkable feat for African-American families of that era. Audrey and Walter first attained teaching certificates and began teaching, returning in the summer months to complete their education.

Dale followed her sister to Dayton in the 1940s. Both women took positions in Dayton Public Schools and went on to attain master’s degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1957. Dale started teaching at Wogaman Elementary School in 1945 and taught for 33 years until her retirement in 1978. Parker was a teacher at several Dayton Public elementary schools before her retirement in 1975.

"Pearl Dale understood the significant benefits of a college education. She wanted to make sure that future generations had the same opportunity she had," said Ted Gudorf, Esq., Gudorf Law Group, LLC, who prepared Pearl Dale’s estate plan. "In addition to the substantial donation to The Dayton Foundation’s African-American Community Fund, Pearl’s 2004 trust provided $350,000 to Kentucky State University."

In addition to her long career as an educator, Dale was a member of Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church, where she worked with the Missionary Society. She also belonged to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Beta Omega Chapter and the Dayton Urban League, and was an avid supporter of UNCF.

Though she passed away in 2009, Dale will continue her family’s legacy of helping educate others through the Pearl A. Dale and Audrey Parker Scholarship Fund. The fund will award scholarships to students who are from the Greater Dayton Region and who plan to attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university and demonstrate financial need.

Established in 1991 at The Dayton Foundation, the African-American Community Fund serves as an umbrella to more than 115 individual funds earmarked to address specific needs within the Miami Valley’s African-American community. The Fund was established at The Dayton Foundation by African-Americans to offer a unique opportunity for African-Americans to create a permanent financial resource for generations to come.

Since its inception, AACF funds have awarded grants in excess of $2.1 million. Total endowed gifts and Charitable Checking AccountSM gifts for all AACF funds currently stand at $4.5 million, with an additional $305,000 in planned legacy gifts. By providing additional resources and assistance, including a commitment for nearly a decade to match contributions (initially 50 cents to each dollar, up to $12,500 per fund) given by an African-American donor or business, The Dayton Foundation has lent support to the significant successes achieved by the African-American community through their African-American Community Fund.

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File date: 9.17.14


Gary LeRoy

“I created a Community Impact Endowment Fund within the African-American Community Fund, because I know the Foundation will need a greater reserve of unrestricted funds to continue to improve our region’s quality of life. I hope others will join me.” – Gary L. LeRoy, M.D., former Governing Board chair and Foundation donor since 2004

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