Two South Jersey natives are being honored for their charitable work throughout the region, including one former Haddonfield resident.
The Community Foundation of South Jersey will honor the memory, generosity and impact of two of South Jersey’s generous philanthropists, Lewis Katz and Marcy Dalsey, at the 2015 Legacy of Giving Award Event. The event takes place Monday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Tavistock Country Club, 100 Tavistock Lane.
“Our goal is to showcase people who are truly legacies, building legacies of generosity and giving back. We hope those legacies will inspire others to do the same,” said Kyle Ruffin, board member of CFSJ and chair of the Legacy of Giving event.
Katz was the founder and director of the Katz Foundation, which throughout his lifetime supported a wide variety of charitable, educational and medical causes. A native of Camden, his business accomplishments and philanthropy touched countless men, women and children in South Jersey and beyond. Two Boys & Girls Clubs in Camden, the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, as well as Temple and Columbia universities were among the organizations that benefited from his generosity. In 2011, he founded the newly-renamed Katz Dalsey Academy Charter School, part of Camden’s Charter School Network, which now serves children from Camden’s Parkside and Cramer Hill communities.
“During a meeting, he shared with me a list of people who he hoped to inspire to be more philanthropic. He wanted them to experience the joy that comes with knowing you’ve made the world a better place,” Chairman of CFSJ and former Haddonfield Mayor Jack Tarditi said in a press release.
Dalsey, a resident of Haddonfield, was the co-founder of the Katz Dalsey Academy Charter School, formerly known as the Katz Academy Charter School. She worked with Katz family organizations in various capacities since 2007, including as executive director of the Drew A. Katz Foundation. Early in her career, she fed her passion for service by working with organizations such as the Food Bank of South Jersey, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, Cooper Hospital, Covenant House, The Michael Bolton Foundation, The Chris Evert Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County.
“Marcy was like Katz’ right hand. She really took his vision and made it a reality … He was the idea and she was the get it done person; that is what I’ve come to know,” Ruffin said.
In 2014, Katz and Dalsey were coming home from a charitable event in Massachusetts when Katz’ private plane crashed in take off and they, along with the other passengers, unfortunately perished. However, their legacy lives on through the charitable work they have done.
“It was a tragic loss to the community when we lost Lewis and Marcy,” Tarditi said.
CFSJ maximizes the impact of generosity by helping charitable-minded people make prudent decisions about the money they donate. CFSJ serves the eight-county South Jersey region, managing donor-advised funds for individuals, families, businesses and communities. Each year, the Community Foundation honors individuals and families who generously devote time and money to causes they care about with the Legacy of Giving Award.
“We chose to honor Lewis and Marcy because they are incredible examples to follow. Our Legacy of Giving event is designed to make giving contagious. In that way, we can increase the resources that our communities need to thrive,” Tarditi said.
“Speaking to Temple at graduation, Lewis said, ‘You cannot have a perfect day until you’ve given to someone who can’t pay you back.’ That was a message that really resonated with me. It is not a reciprocal act; it is about giving selflessly and not getting anything in return … Dalsey was the perfect teammate in making Lewis’ vision happen. People tell me she was very motivational … She lit up the room and embodied good spirit and motivation. They were like the dynamic duo,” Ruffin said.
The Legacy of Giving Awards event will host a cocktail and dinner reception, a tribute performance by students from Katz-Dalsey Academy, a slideshow presentation and presentations of the Legacy of Giving Awards, and a free $1,000 raffle to an organization of the individual’s choice.
Admission is $200 per person. Tickets are being sold until Oct. 22 for the Legacy of Giving Awards and can be purchased at the CFSJ website communityfoundationsj.org.
Proceeds from the event will benefit CFSJ, and a portion will be donated to Camden’s Charter School Network — Katz Dalsey to use as it sees fit.
For more information, visit communityfoundationsj.org.