Leesburg Creates Foundation to Manage Thomas Balch Library Gifts

The Leesburg Town Council has established the Thomas Balch Library Endowment Foundation as a separate nonprofit corporation to manage more than $900,000 in donations.

When long-time library volunteer Virginia L. Bowie died in 2008, she bequeathed more than $600,000 to the Thomas Balch Library. In 2013, the town used the money to create an endowment fund to provide grants for research using the library’s collections, support public programs on genealogy and local history, and expand the library’s collections.

Later another dedicated volunteer, Diane Monica Lee, bequeathed almost $150,000 to the Thomas Balch Library.

The new foundation will provide investment and management of the funds separate from the general town budget. On Dec. 11, the council approved the foundation’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, clearing the way for the foundation to take over administration of the library endowment fund and to accept gifts and bequests.

The foundation anticipates that gifts to it will be tax-deductible according to normal charity rules. However, until 501(c)(3) status is received, donors may wish to direct their gifts to the Town of Leesburg, earmarked for the Thomas Balch Library Endowment Fund.

Longtime library director Alexandra S. Gressitt, serves on the foundation’s board along with retired Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne, president; James H. Hershman Jr.; Ron Rust and Keith Troxell.

One thought on “Leesburg Creates Foundation to Manage Thomas Balch Library Gifts

  • 2018-12-28 at 6:42 pm

    Thank goodness this finally happened. This money has just been sitting in a low interest account all this time. At least Clark Case the finance director had the sense to do that when he came to the town around 2014. Had the town just used its own legal resources to create the endowment and had they invested in the market, there’d be some $3 million in there now — perhaps enough to get the operating costs of the Balch off the taxpayer (which is nearly $500,000 a year). Let’s hope this foundation invests the money properly and not for building expansion which is not needed given how few patrons use it. Perhaps they can coax the County to help fund it again and have the Balch’s programs available in other county libraries

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