Voices of Giving Awards Honor Cincinnati Philanthropists


The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council honored 27 philanthropists on June 16 at the Voices of Giving Awards. On behalf of a nonprofit organization that benefited from the honorees' selfless generosity in contributing a bequest or planned gift, each philanthropist was presented with an award, thanking them for their support. Also honored was an advisor whose pivotal role in cultivating those gifts is helping sustain valuable causes.

"Our Voices of Giving honorees represent the true spirit of philanthropy and their gifts are enhancing the quality of life for our community, now and in the future," said Sue Ellen Stuebing, vice president of the board of The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council. "We thank them not only for their generosity but also for allowing us to recognize them. By doing so, they are inspiring others in our community to demonstrate that everyone can make a lasting impact by leaving a legacy."


The 2015 Voices of Giving Honorees:

Deacon David A. Klingshirn

Nominated by: The Athenaeum of Ohio

Deacon David A. Klingshirn has endowed what he has dedicated his life to: building and strengthening the future of the Catholic Church. He has been involved at the Athenaeum of Ohio since entering its Lay Pastoral Ministry Program in 1999. In 2004, he was ordained as a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He has always been an avid supporter of the Athenaeum Chorale and Music Program, and he is also a member of both the Bishop Fenwick Society and the St. Gregory Legacy Society.

While studying for the diaconate, Deacon Klingshirn made a major planned gift to endow the Athenaeum’s sacred music program; and in 2010, he made an additional bequest gift to provide scholarship funds, in perpetuity, for men studying for the priesthood. Endowing his life commitment will help to ensure the future of seminarian education and the training of seminarians in the importance of sacred music and in the fundamental skills of music for mass.      

Alan and Dianne Thomas

Nominated by: Brighton Center

Alan and Dianne Thomas are exemplary advocates for Brighton Center, a Newport nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals and families reach self sufficiency. Alan is a Board member and serves on both its Program and Development Committees. He generously shares his extensive knowledge of fundraising and best practices in donor cultivation. Dianne volunteers at its food pantry and has served on Brighton Center’s Gala Committee for several years. Together, they are co-chairing the organization’s Golf Outing Committee. 

Last year, when Brighton Center began discussing the importance of planned giving, the Thomases were there, once again, to lead by example by making their own legacy bequest to ensure the vital services which Brighton Center offers.  

Marjorie and Roger Santor (posthumously)

Nominated by: CET - Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation

Marjorie and Roger Santor always enjoyed watching educational and enrichment programs on the nation’s first licensed public television station, CET (Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation). They have quietly supported its work for more than half of the station’s history to date.

“CET was deeply saddened at the passing of this remarkable couple last year,” said Dan Virzi,  senior manager, membership & donor relations at CET. “CET was profoundly touched to learn that both Marjorie and Roger had made specific bequests to ensure its future – Marjorie through her IRA and Roger through his trust.”

The Santors’ gifts have helped bolster CET’s endowment and ensure that PBS and its trusted programs will be accessible to all. Because of the Santors, CET will continue to impact local school children by increasing their literacy skills with hands-on workshops. In addition, thanks to the Santors’ kindness, CET viewers across our region will always enjoy a front-row seat -- from the living room or the classroom -- for locally-produced arts and cultural programming. 

Robert Buechner

Nominated by: The Children's Home of Cincinnati

Bob Buechner has been a supporter of the Children’s Home, a nonprofit organization that supports the positive development of vulnerable children, for nearly ten years as a sponsor of its annual Rockin’ Ribs fundraiser. He has also created a basketball program for the lower school. He and other volunteers work with students several times a month to develop basketball skills, team building, and sportsmanship.   

Buechner currently sits on the organization’s Planned Giving Committee and has thoughtfully included the Children’s Home in his estate planning. His bequest was made to ensure a stable financial future for the Children’s Home. Thanks to his leadership and generosity, Buechner has set an inspirational example for others to follow.

John H. White, Jr.

Nominated by: Cincinnati Museum Center – The Cincinnati History Museum and Cincinnati History Library and Archives

John (Jack) H. White, Jr. has been a loyal member and donor of the Cincinnati Museum Center for decades. A professional historian, author, and former curator-historian for the Smithsonian, he has been an invaluable Board member and avid user of the Center’s historical library and archives. One of his many books, Cincinnati Locomotive Builders: 1845-1868, was also published under the auspices of Cincinnati Museum Center.

Ten years ago, he generously created the Christine S. White Restricted Fund, in memory of his mother, to expand the center’s historical collections.  His very generous bequest from his estate will also establish the Christine S. White Endowment Fund. This fund will permanently endow the position of Reference Manager at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives.

Albert W. Vontz III

Nominated by:  Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Albert W. Vontz III’s generosity is an inspirational example of family legacy. His 17 years of board service to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park now match that of his late father, Al Vontz, Jr. The family business, Heidelberg Distributing, is in its thirtieth year as season sponsor. Nearly $3 million have been invested in the Playhouse by father and son, and the Mt. Adams facility is named the Vontz Theater Center to honor the family’s unwavering support and passion.

In 2003, continuing in his father’s footsteps, Al III informed the Playhouse of his own bequest. “I’ve been involved in the business world for over 40 years. Had I chosen a different path, I probably would have liked to have been an artist. I really feel it is the responsibility of a corporate businessman and the private sector to invest in the arts, both now and for future generations,” he said.

Vontz’s bequest means that the Tony award-winning theatre experienced today at the Playhouse will be produced in Cincinnati far into the future. Especially meaningful is that his father, Albert W. Vontz III was also recognized with a Voices of Giving Award in 2002 for such unwavering dedication to the Cincinnati Playhouse.

Barb and Mort Nicholson

Nominated by:  Cincinnati Public Radio

Barb and Mort Nicholson have supported Cincinnati Public Radio for three decades. They are sustaining, monthly contributors who can often be heard on WGUC and WVXU, sharing their testimonial during membership fund drives. As dedicated phone volunteers, they might also just be the ones to take your pledge call in support of Cincinnati Public Radio. 

The Nicholsons have named Cincinnati Public Radio as a beneficiary of their will. Because of support like theirs, Cincinnati Public Radio will be able to bring the finest classical music and the best news and information programming to our region and the world -- both now and far into the future.

In addition to their support of Cincinnati Public Radio, every holiday season, the couple gives friends and family gifts to the charities nearest and dearest to their hearts. This is just one example of their philanthropic spirit, which benefits dozens of local, national, and international causes each year.   

Norita Aplin and Stanley Ragle

Nominated by:  Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra (CSO)

Norita Aplin has been a loyal CSO patron since the early 1970s -- first with her late husband, Kenneth, and now with her husband Stanley Ragle. Aplin and Ragle both share a deep love of music, a deep appreciation of the CSO’s contributions to the community, and much joy at the many successes and current financial stability of the orchestra.

Their wish to see the orchestra’s artistic excellence and financial stability continue far into the future is what led their extraordinary commitment to endow a chair in the CSO’s cello section in perpetuity.

Jack Kirby

Nominated by:  Episcopal Retirement Homes (ERH)

Jack Kirby has been a resident of the Episcopal Retirement Homes’ Deupree House since 2012 and a consistent supporter of its Good Samaritan Mission. Most notably, Mr. Kirby established a charitable gift annuity to launch a revolutionary therapy to improve memory function for individuals suffering from dementia.

In his own words, “During my wife Alberta’s illness with Alzheimer’s, I experienced firsthand the stress of the illness on caregivers. The program at Marjorie P. Lee shows promise for delaying the terrible effects of this disease. I want to do anything I can to support this new program, help make patients’ lives more meaningful, and ease the burden on caregivers.”

Kirby’s generous annuity provides ground-breaking memory care for Marjorie P. Lee residents. It will also allow ERH to expand the program to Deupree Cottages, helping even more ERH residents, both today and for the future.

Mike and Marilyn Kremzar

Nominated by:  Freestore Foodbank (FSFB)

Mike joined the Freestore Foodbank  in 1984 and has generously served on the Board. He helped create Cincinnati COOKS!, a culinary job training program which also provides hot, nutritious afterschool meals to children who are at risk of hunger. More than 1,200 adults have since graduated from the program and moved on to gainful employment. Mike continues to work with Cincinnati COOKS!, and the Kremzars attend nearly every program graduation.

The Kremzars have generously named the Freestore Foodbank as a beneficiary of their IRA, thus enabling FSFB to continue helping individuals and families make the life-changing transition from crisis to stability to self-reliance.

John Isidor and Sandy Kaltman

Nominated by:  Jewish Federation of Cincinnati

John Isidor and Sandy Kaltman have been exceptionally generous in their longtime support of the Jewish Federation's annual campaign, which benefits over 40 local programs. They have provided invaluable leadership and support for the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, JVS Career Services, the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati, and many other organizations.

Several years ago, they established The Roma and Sam Kaltman Holocaust Studies for Educators Endowment Fund. This endowment is in memory of Sandy's mother and father who were Holocaust survivors; and will provide ongoing teacher education at the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. The couple have also made additional bequest commitments to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Jewish Federation and four other organizations in the local Jewish community. 

John and Sandy believe so passionately in the importance of planned giving and permanent endowments that they have made a significant multi-year gift to the Jewish Federation to provide support and training for endowment fundraising, and they also plan to leave gifts to the Freestore Foodbank, the Ohio Innocence Project, and UC Athletics.

Burke Neville

Nominated by:  Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)

Burke Neville has made it his mission to serve the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leading global organization that funds type one diabetes research, in honor of his son Jack, who lives with type one diabetes. Neville is a Chapter Board member, past president, and currently chairs its Leadership Giving Committee. His dedication and commitment have led the Cincinnati Chapter to be recognized as the top JDRF Chapter for major and planned gifts. He also raises money through the Chapter walk program and consistently leads one of the JDRF’s top-performing walk teams.

By making JDRF a beneficiary of his retirement plan and of an insurance policy, Neville has led by example, joining JDRF’s planned giving society. He has also helped secure many other planned gifts and opened the door to many new relationships and partnerships for the chapter.

Dr. George Rieveschl, Jr.  (posthumously)

Nominated by:  Lloyd Library and Museum

Dr. George Rieveschl, Jr. served on the Lloyd Board of Directors for 30 years until his passing in 2007. The Lloyd is also the repository of Dr. Rieveschl's personal archives, which document his wide array of professional activities.

Dr. Rieveschl left a significant bequest to the Lloyd which allows the Lloyd to purchase rare books, especially on the topic of  pharmaceutical chemistry, Dr. Rieveschl's specialty, and to promote education and interest in chemistry.

Dr. Rieveschl's gift has also enabled the Lloyd to install a permanent exhibition which tells the unique -- and often hidden -- history of Cincinnati and its role in pharmacy, chemistry, and medicine. It also tells the story of the Lloyd brothers and Dr. Rieveschl –  men who shared a passion for pharmacy and chemistry and who were dedicated to giving back to their community.

Dr. Robert B. and Jane S. Kenney

Nominated by:  Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Foundation – Llanfair Retirement Community

Bob and Jane Kenney have been residents of Llanfair Retirement Community for over nine years. Bob serves on Llanfair’s OLLI Committee, planning programs for University of Cincinnati’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He also serves on Llandfair’s Breakfast Club,  Education Committee, and Spiritual Life Committee. Jane serves on Llanfair’s Program Development Team for the Spiritual Life and the Education Committees. Additionally, while Bob serves several times a year as guest pastor, Jane is a worship pianist for the Living Center Sunday services.

Because spiritual life and life at Llanfair are so important to the Kenneys, they have made two distinct bequest gifts.  One is directed to the Spiritual Life Endowment to ensure that projects and programs vital to the spiritual life of Llanfair residents will continue forever. Their second bequest gift will support the Life Care Promise, which ensures that residents will always have a home, even if – in good faith – they run out of funds meant to see them through.

Mona Morrow

Nominated by:  The Salvation Army

Mona Morrow is a generous donor to The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the Christian church that provides social services to those in need. She also provides vital and valuable service on the Cincinnati Advisory Board, its Program Committee, and on the Marketing and Corporate Relations Committee. Her commitment and dedication is shown through the time, energy, and resources she dedicates to furthering the mission of The Salvation Army.

Morrow has included The Salvation Army in her estate plan to help provide assistance to those with the greatest needs in our local community. Among the programs her gift will support include family services, youth development, housing support, senior services, anti-human trafficking, adult rehabilitation, Christmas assistance, and disaster relief.

Emily Pan

Nominated by:  Saint Joseph Home (SJH)

Emily Pan served on the Saint Joseph Home Board from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, she named Saint Joseph Home as the beneficiary of her IRA, 401(k), and life insurance policy; and she continues to volunteer, lending her extensive expertise, knowledge, and insight to other individuals who may be interested in making a planned gift to Saint Joseph Home.

Saint Joseph Home is a non-profit ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati which offers a creative, loving environment to children and adults with severe developmental disabilities. Pan's dedicated involvement in it will truly make a lasting, long-term impact. Her generous beneficiary designations will enhance the lives of all Saint Joseph residents and provide the resources needed to grow crucial respite and day programming services.

Mary Kay Pastura Hauser

Nominated by:  Saint Ursula Academy (SUA)

Mary Kay Pastura Hauser graduated from Saint Ursula Academy in 1968 and has been a trustee since 2006.  She was instrumental in forming the Human Resources Committee, served as Finance Chair for two years, and, then, as Board Chair from 2010-12.  She continues to play a critical role in strategic planning for SUA, serving on the Capital Campaign Committee and furthering the Academy’s advancement initiatives. She has also devoted much time and energy to documenting Ursuline history for the school’s 100th anniversary and to teaching crucial life skills to the senior capstone classes.

Additionally, she has made leadership gifts to many Saint Ursula campaigns, thus investing in all aspects of the Academy.

The Calonge Family

Nominated by:  United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC)

Bernie Calonge’s family arrived in America from Cuba when he was only nine. A memory of that uncertain time was a tin of peanut butter provided by a local United Way agency.  His family went on to be very successful, but they never forgot that simple, profound gesture. After his parents’ passing, he found that very tin of peanut butter – an enduring symbol of their life journey and the family’s commitment to “giving back.”

Calonge and his wife, Mary Kay, have been loyal contributors to United Way for many years. He understands the big picture of its cause and puts big ideas behind his beliefs.  He has served in many leadership capacities at UWGC, including the Board of Directors, the Tocqueville Cabinet, and the Future Directions Taskforce. He also created and continues to chair the Hispanic Leadership Society.

The Calonge family’s generous planned gift of life insurance is unrestricted, demonstrating their belief in United Way’s ability to make broad, impactful, lasting change happen in a fiscally responsible manner.

Jim Huizenga

Nominated by:  Saint Joseph Home (SJH)

Jim Huizenga, senior program officer at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and former vice president for Charitable and Endowment Services at PNC Advisors, has been a valued partner and advisor to Saint Joseph Home for over 15 years. He served on the organization’s Board from 2007 through 2012, having led the Board with dedication and vision through major strategic organizational advancements

Huizenga has also been the driving force in the rebirth of Saint Joseph’s planned giving efforts through the Caring Companions Society. He has generously provided his professional advisory expertise to committees of the Board and senior staff. Huizenga has helped to hone the organization’s planned giving focus and continues to encourage generous supporters to include Saint Joseph Home as part of their legacy plans. In total, he has helped secure more than six million dollars in commitments of support for SJH.

Saint Joseph Home is a non-profit ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati which offers a creative, loving environment to children and adults with severe developmental disabilities. Attention to each individual's medical, social, educational, and spiritual development helps reveal the uniqueness of each person. Compassionate care and respect for the dignity of life are the hallmarks of Saint Joseph Home and its programs and services.