Philanthropic family honored at Delaware Community Foundation 25th anniversary celebration

The philanthropic efforts of a legendary Delaware family were recognized by Vice President Joe Biden and hundreds of Delawareans attending the 25th anniversary celebration of the Delaware Community Foundation. 

Adrienne Arsht received the inaugural Delaware Family Philanthropy Award during the ceremony Tuesday at the Chase Center in Wilmington.  In accepting the honor, Adrienne Arsht referred often to the values instilled in her by her parents, the late S. Samuel Arsht and the Honorable Roxana Cannon Arsht. 

“Both my parents really believed that you should live your life in a way that leaves the world in a better place,” Adrienne Arsht said. 

Biden cited several initiatives that benefited from contributions of the Arsht family, including efforts to screen pre-schoolers for dyslexia, which could be a critical step in developing proficiency in reading by third grade.  Biden also recognized the Cancer Care Connection, of which Adrienne Arsht is a founding member, and its efforts to ensure that screenings and other preventive efforts are covered by health insurance. 

“She is a woman of powerful ideas,” Biden said.  “She backs things that are transformative, that literally can transform society.” 

A substantial amount of the funds allocated to the DCF from the Arsht family also addresses educational and health concerns facing Delaware’s Hispanic community.  The Delaware Community Foundation manages charitable funds for nonprofits, businesses and families.  The DCF provides annual grants of about $15 million supporting various educational, cultural, health and humanitarian initiatives.  Its 1,200 funds manage over $230 million in assets. 

Former Congressman and Governor Mike Castle joined the tribute to the Arsht family and the Delaware Community Foundation, as did US Senator Chris Coons.  “Every day I spend in Washington, I’m reminded of what a wonderful community we have in Delaware,” Coons said. 

Samuel Arsht was a well-known lawyer in Wilmington, while Roxana Cannon Arsht was the first woman in Delaware to become a judge.  Adrienne Arsht had a successful career in law and banking and now directs the Arsht-Cannon Fund.

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