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Meet Randy Guggenheimer, President of the Scarsdale Foundation

guggenheimerRandy Guggenheimer has just been appointed President of the Scarsdale Foundation, one of Scarsdale's oldest philanthropic organizations. We asked him some questions about the Foundation and his role in it and here is what he shared:

When was the Foundation established and what is its mission?
The Scarsdale Foundation was established by an act of the New York State Legislature in 1923. Our mission is to promote civic welfare in Scarsdale by providing support for institutions and individuals that encourage educational and human development as well as mutual understanding and (2) recognizing those individuals in our community who through volunteer service continue to set an example of civic responsibility toward the betterment of the community.

Who serves on the Foundation and how are these volunteers selected?
The Foundation Board is selected by a Nominating Committee consisting of Foundation Board trustees and members of the community.

How does the Foundation decide on which groups and individuals will receive funding?
The Foundation Board evaluates grant applications from community organizations on a case-by-case basis. We recently provided grants of $50,000 to the Scarsdale Public Library for their renovation project and smaller grants to the Scarsdale Woman's Club and the Teen Center. We have a robust process for evaluating college scholarship grants based on need for the sophomore, junior and senior years.

Many people in town think that Scarsdale students might not need scholarship aid. Is this a misperception? What has been your experience and what have you learned about Scarsdale students and families?
There is a significant need. For families who have suffered financial setbacks, whether due to divorce, disability, illness or death of a parent, grant money can make a huge difference for students. We can help them avoid taking on additional debt or having to take on an additional work-study job, for example. These students and their families truly appreciate the grants we are able to provide.

How much funding is usually given out to a student? What are the requirements to receive aid and how do students apply?
The Scarsdale Foundation college scholarship grants have grown to around $120,000 this year. We are able to give students on average about $5000, although the awards are tailored to individual need. We spend a lot of time evaluating and trying to understand the need.

What is the Foundation¹s role in producing the Scarsdale Bowl dinner?foundation
The Scarsdale Foundation Trustees annually appoint a Chair of the Scarsdale Bowl Committee. The Chair and the Foundation President together select 14 committee members reflecting the diversity of the Scarsdale community to serve staggered two-year terms. The Committee chooses the honoree and organizes the dinner which is held each April.

What are the qualities of those who are considered to receive the Scarsdale Bowl?
The Scarsdale Bowl Award is the highest honor bestowed on a Scarsdale resident in recognition of his or her volunteer public service in the community.

What is your background? And how did you get involved with the Foundation?
My wife, Liz, and I have lived in Fox Meadow since 1993, where we raised our children, Laura and Brian, both Scarsdale High School graduates. I have been active in Scarsdale community affairs for over 20 years. Liz was a past President of the Board of Education.

I was invited to become a member of the Board of the Scarsdale Foundation in 2013 and have served as the Foundation's Secretary, Assistant Treasurer and Co-Chair of the College Scholarship Committee.

What other volunteer activities have you undertaken in Scarsdale?
I am currently Treasurer of the Scarsdale Forum and previously served as President of the Forum and chaired several Forum committees. I also serve as President of the Scarsdale Historical Society, having previously served as Treasurer. I previously chaired the Governmental Advisory Committee of the Scarsdale Board of Education.

What do you do in your professional life - and how do you find time for your volunteer work?
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, I have worked for many years as an investment banker serving the health care industry and am currently a Managing Director at Young & Partners. I am fortunate to have been able to make the time to participate in these volunteer activities.

If you were asked by a newcomer to town why he/she should volunteer for school or village government committees, what would you say?
The volunteer work is very rewarding, both because of the ability to help people in our community and because of the talented and interesting people that you get to work with. The Scarsdale Foundation Board has many outstanding Scarsdale leaders including Tom Giordano, David Karp, Michelle Lichtenberg, Anne Lyons, BK Munguia, Seth Ross, Suzanne Seiden and Jane Veron. I am privileged to work with them .

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