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Licking County Foundation Celebrates Philanthropy

Licking County Foundation Celebrates Philanthropy

The annual meeting of the Licking County Foundation was held recently to celebrate charitable giving in this community for the past 60 years. Event highlights included presentations of the Everett D. Reese Award to Stuart N. Parsons for his life of community service and of the Founders Award to the Reese Family for their multigenerational philanthropic commitment to Licking County. The Foundation also released its 2015 annual report which provides information on how the community was enhanced by the Foundation’s donors, grantees and other caring partners. A copy of the annual report can be downloaded at www.thelcfoundation.com or contact the Foundation to be sent a printed copy.

The Everett D. Reese Award was established in 1996 to celebrate philanthropy in our community in the spirit and memory of Everett D. Reese, the founder of Licking County Foundation. The purpose of this award is to recognize individuals like Stu Parsons who have led their lives in the spirit of Everett Reese’s sincere and often-repeated invitation, “Let me know if I can do anything for you.” The Foundation’s board chairman Jeff Cox said, “Stu Parsons is very deserving of the Everett D. Reese award. His compassion and dedication to the community—along with his many acts of kindness and charitable contributions—have had and will continue to have a meaningful impact on the lives of many others.”

A Newark resident since 1968, Stu Parsons graduated from Johnstown Monroe High School in 1960. Stu continued his education at The Ohio State University where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in finance. He was a member of numerous scholastic honoraries, including Phi Eta Sigma, Beta Gamma Sigma, PaceseSetter, and senior men’s service honorary, Sphinx. Stu received his MBA from The Ohio State University in 1969. In 1968, Stu began his 38 year career with Park National Bank. Stu retired from the bank as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer in 2006.

Stu’s involvement in the community is expansive. He has served leadership positions on the boards of the Ohio Bankers Association, Trust Division, United Way of Licking County, Newark Campus Development Fund, Licking Memorial Hospital and Licking Memorial Health Foundation, Herbert J. and Patricia R. Murphy Foundation, Mary E. Babcock Foundation, Licking County Mental Health Association, and Licking County Foundation. Stu has also served as a board member of the John and Mary Alford Foundation, the Johnstown Area Community Foundation, Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities and is a member of the Newark Rotary Club. Stu was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Licking Memorial Health Systems in 2006.

The Founders Award was created this year to acknowledge outstanding philanthropic achievements and significant positive community impact by individuals, families or organizations over a long period of time. The Foundation’s governing committee member Eschol Curl said, “The Reese Family’s multigenerational engagement in philanthropy is a truly inspiring model of how one family can significantly impact the quality of life in the community they love through leadership, vision and generosity.”

In 1956, farsighted civic leader Everett D. “Ev” Reese had a vision of ensuring that the quality of life in Licking County would continually improve. To do this, he initiated the effort to establish a public community foundation for Licking County, with the help of his son, J. Gilbert “Gib” Reese, in 1956. Following his father’s legacy, Gib Reese, along with his wife, Louella H. “Lou” Reese have been instrumental in the founding and development of the Ohio State University Newark Campus and Central Ohio Technical College. Through their leadership of the Gilbert Reese Family Foundation, Gib and Lou remain a major philanthropic force in Newark and Licking County, supporting local parks and recreation, public art, community and social services, and area schools. In her capacity as Chairwoman of the Thomas J. Evans Foundation, Sarah Reese Wallace, daughter of Gib and Lou Reese, has most recently spearheaded the completion of the $5 million Canal Market District project in downtown Newark and continued development of over 44 miles of recreation bike paths throughout Licking County.

About Licking County Foundation…60 Years of Philanthropic Leadership
Farsighted civic leader Everett D. Reese had a vision of ensuring that the quality of life in Licking County would continually improve. To do this, he initiated the effort to establish a public community foundation for Licking County. Mr. Reese was a rare individual whose life and achievements were based on his belief in helping others. On November 21, 1956, the Licking County Foundation’s declaration of trust was drafted and filed by J. Gilbert Reese, Mr. Reese’s son. The original Governing Committee members included Everett D. Reese, Harold L. Ballinger, Francis P. Kennedy, Robert H. Flory, Games Slayter and Howard LeFevre. Since that time, the Licking County Foundation has grown to $82.2 million in assets through generations of gifts made by caring donors; and has changed the lives of countless people through $44.4 million in grants and scholarships to dedicated nonprofits and deserving students. Over the last 60 years, Licking County’s continuous generosity has ensured that Everett D. Reese’s philanthropic legacy of advancing our community will continue far into the future. For information, please call 740.349.3863 or visit www.thelcfoundation.org.

Photo: Stu Parsons (left) and Sarah Reese Wallace (right) were recognized for their philanthropic contributions to Licking County.

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