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.