Linda and Jurg Siegenthaler have had a longtime passion for the city of Lawrence.
“When I left the city, it was struggling,” said Linda, who grew up in the Tower Hill neighborhood. “Now there’s a lot of effort to bring it back and I want to be a part of that.”
Through their ECCF Donor Advised Fund, the Siegenthalers have played a significant role in the efforts to focus attention on the arts, history and culture in Lawrence.
“We chose arts and humanities because they are not that largely supported in the area,” said Linda, whose parents were very active in Lawrence. The Siegenthalers give not only financial support to the causes they care about, but they donate their time as well. “We are very hands on,” said Linda.
The Siegenthaler’s have funded, among other things, music, art shows and historic symposiums at the Lawrence History Center. They have supported projects at the Essex Art Center, the Bread and Roses Heritage Festival and Groundwork Lawrence. They have funded summer opportunities for kids with the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund and English classes for native Haitian Creole speakers through Friends of the Lawrence Public Library.
“ECCF has been a great vehicle for targeting our passion,” said Linda.
Jurg, who also serves as the treasurer of Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park, said that the one-on-one meetings with ECCF staff members has been one of the most valuable services ECCF offers its fundholders, along with help in planning for their charitable future. Linda and Jurg are working with ECCF to include the Foundation in their estate plan.
“We’re looking to the future as we get older and we know we want to have vibrant, intelligent communities,” said Linda.