Warwick Foundation to Distribute $37 Million in Bucks County

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Final Distribution of Foundation of Kenneth and Helen Hartman Gemmill

Pictured: Kenneth and Helen Hartman Gemmill, late founders of the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County

Approximately $37 million in assets of the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County, will be distributed to Bucks County organizations to benefit the students, residents and visitors of a region truly beloved by the Gemmill Family.

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Approximately $37 million in assets of the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County, established through the generosity of the late Kenneth and Helen Hartman Gemmill, will be distributed to Bucks County organizations to benefit the students, residents and visitors of a region truly beloved by the Gemmill Family.

After 50 years of operation, the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County today announced that it will make the following final gifts as it prepares to dissolve the Foundation in 2011.    

$5 million to the Bucks County Historical Society and Mercer Museum; $1 million to the Heritage Conservancy; $500,000 to Doylestown Hospital; $500,000 to the James A. Michener Art Museum; $250,000 to Neshaminy-Warwick Presbyterian Church; and $50,000 to Warwick Township Historical Society for Moland House.

Yesterday, the Warwick Foundation announced that Delaware Valley College would be the primary beneficiary of the distribution of its assets, with a gift totaling $29.6 million to Delaware Valley College. This gift includes the 398-acre ‘Five Spruce Farm’ valued at $14.6 million as well as $10 million to create an endowment for the designated purpose of operating what will become the Gemmill Campus of Delaware Valley College. Another $5 million will be given in support of Delaware Valley College’s strategic plan.

These gifts totaling $36.9 million are the full distribution of the assets of the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County. With this announcement, the Foundation brings all of its operations to a close and will cease grant-making activities.

“The Warwick Foundation of Bucks County was established by Kenneth W. and Helen Hartman Gemmill for the purpose of supporting organizations in Bucks County that strengthened and enriched the community they loved so much. Determining how the last gifts of the Foundation would be distributed was an easy task for the trustees. We stuck to the mission and purpose of the Foundation and then looked to the very organizations that Kenneth and Helen Gemmill held most dear in their hearts and gave of their heads and hands for so many years,” said Elizabeth H. Gemmill, president of the board of trustees of the Warwick Foundation of Bucks County. “As trustees, we are heartened to have the privilege to honor their memory so perfectly.”

The Gemmill Family cherishes their role as caretakers of the legacies of their parents and grandparents,” said Norman E. (Ned) Donoghue, philanthropic and fiduciary advisor to the Gemmill Family. “As trustees, they came together knowing that now is the right time to distribute all of the assets in support of organizations that have consistently proven the ability to use the funds for important and good purpose in service to the people of Bucks County. Strong stewardship, vision and practicality, led the trustees to a decision that would please its founders.”

About the Founders of the Warwick Foundation
Kenneth W. Gemmill was a nationally respected tax attorney and served President Dwight D. Eisenhower as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for tax policy. He was the principal author of the 1954 Tax Code, which remained the nation’s law until 1986. He later served President Richard M. Nixon as tax counsel for specific matters during the Watergate years. Kenneth W. Gemmill was an alumnus of Mercersberg Academy, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was a partner at the law firm of Dechert LLP (at the time known as Dechert Price & Rhoads) where he served as Chairman of the Policy Committee during his last six years of practicing law. Also, Kenneth W. Gemmill served regionally on the boards of Delaware Valley College, the Bucks County Historical Society, the Heritage Conservancy and as Warwick supervisor.

Helen Hartman Gemmill, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and once assistant editor of Vogue magazine, was an active and generous member of the Bucks County Historical Society and Mercer Museum, Bucks County Community College and the Doylestown Nature Club. She led a movement that resulted in the restoration of the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown and served on the board of the Free Library of Philadelphia. She was devoted to the region’s history and was a respected writer of two books (one unfinished at the time of her death) and numerous other tracts on the subject. Helen Hartman Gemmill’s volunteer legacy includes everything from washing windows to saving historic properties.

The Gemmills were also generous benefactors of the Heritage Conservancy, the Bucks County Historical Society, the James A. Michener Art Museum, Moland House, Central Bucks YMCA, Doylestown Hospital, the Bucks County Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Helen Hartman Gemmill died of a stroke on December 11, 1998 at Doylestown Hospital and Kenneth W., her husband, died moments later of a lengthy illness at Five Spruce Farm, ending lives filled with distinction and service to others. She was 80 years old and he was 88.

About the Warwick Foundation
The Warwick Foundation of Bucks County is a private charitable Foundation of the Gemmill Family. Founded in 1961 by Kenneth W. and Helen Hartmann Gemmill, the Warwick Foundation has distributed more than $8 million in grants to organizations in Bucks County during the last 11 years before this gift, as well as provided scholarships to promising students living in Bucks County.

About Delaware Valley College
Delaware Valley College is a private, multi-disciplinary college on 571 acres in Doylestown. Founded in 1896, it features individualized attention, small class sizes and an applied as well as a theoretical approach to learning. The college specializes in the life sciences and offers 27 undergraduate majors, two master’s programs and a wide variety of continuing education courses.

About Norman E. Donoghue
Norman E. (Ned) Donoghue serves as a fiduciary for private trusts and as a philanthropic advisor to families seeking advice on philanthropic giving and communications strategies in that connection. He is a retired partner of the Dechert LLP and is no longer practicing law. Mr. Donoghue previously served as director of planned giving for The Philadelphia Orchestra Association during its recent successful $130 million Endowment Campaign. He is also a member of the board of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia. Dechert LLP’s Frederick J. Gerhart serves as legal counsel to the Foundation in this matter.

More Information about the recipients of the gifts from Warwick Foundation of Bucks County can be found on the web as follows:

The Bucks County Historical Society and Mercer Museum: http://www.mercermuseum.org

The Heritage Conservancy: http://www.heritageconservancy.org

Doylestown Hospital: http://www.dh.org

James A. Michener Art Museum: http://www.michenermuseum.org

Neshaminy-Warwick Presbyterian Church: http://www.nwpc.net

Warwick Township Historical Society for Moland House: http://www.moland.org

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Sharon Murphy
the Warwick Foundation
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