The Douglas County Community Foundation was established in 2000 with a major gift from the late Tensie Oldfather of Lawrence. Tensie, who gave generously to a wide variety of area causes, hoped that her example would attract other gifts to the foundation. “It’s for anyone who wants to help,” she said.
Other founding donors included Ross and Marianna Beach/Douglas County Bank, Bob and Marna Moore, Bob and Bev Billings, Mike Davis, Tom and Marilyn Dobski, Bob Georgeson, Roger and Sue Pine, Mike and Sara Corless, and US Bancorp.
University of Kansas Professor of Law Mike Davis served as the founding board chairman and oversaw the growth of the foundation for more than a decade. Under Mike’s leadership, the foundation grew from one fund to 93, and from $120,000 in total grants to $6.3 million.
Barbara Carswell, formerly of Capitol Federal Savings Bank, succeeded Mike as board chair in 2012. Web Golden, an attorney with Stevens & Brand, was named board chair in 2013. Web has been associated with DCCF since its inception. As founder Tensie Oldfather’s attorney, he did the legal work to establish the foundation. He then served as foundation secretary before joining our board of directors in 2012.
Sara Corless served as DCCF’s first executive director. Lawrence attorney and nonprofit professional Chip Blaser succeeded her in 2006.
The Kansas Health Foundation has played a critical role in the foundation’s growth, offering a series of endowment matching grant challenges, providing funds for health initiatives, and supporting the professional development of foundation staff.