The Oakleaf

2021 JJB Awards for Excellence Winners

Posted by Tompkins Trust Company on Sep 27, 2021 12:09:12 PM

About the James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence Program

The James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence program was established during the bank's Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1986 as a means of sharing its success with community members who have helped to enrich the quality of life in Tompkins County. In 2014, the Awards for Excellence program was renamed the James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence to honor the retirement of Jim Byrnes, a longtime Ithaca resident and leader of Tompkins Financial Corporation.

The endowment is administered by the Legacy Foundation, a local not-for-profit trust. The vision of the Legacy Foundation, which began in 1945, is a commitment to “improving the quality of life in Tompkins County for those who come after us." Since 1986, the Awards for Excellence program has recognized more than 260 individuals or groups with awards totaling more than $373,000.

The Trust Company, through the Legacy Foundation, is proud to recognize this year’s recipients who have promoted the arts, culture, education, helped those in need through volunteerism, and have improved the quality of life for so many in Tompkins County.

2021 Recipients

This year, we have honored 7 individuals and 1 group with James J. Byrnes Awards for Excellence for their outstanding volunteer service to the community. $13,680 was donated to local charitable organizations from the bank’s endowment fund through the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County. The honorees each designated their monetary awards to not-for-profit organizations of their choice.

Megan Wagenet

Our first recipient for the award is Megan Wagenet for her volunteerism with Ithaca Little Red Lacrosse, Ithaca Youth Hockey Association, and Ithaca Youth Bureau for more than a decade.

Megan has directed her $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation to Wonderful Wheelchairs.

JM Murray, Inc.

We are honoring JM Murray, Inc. for offering differently-abled individuals the opportunity to obtain legitimate employment in real-world environments while teaching them valuable skills, improving their self-esteem, and enriching their lives.

JM Murray has directed their $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation to JM Murray, Inc.

Kenn and Madeline Young

Madeline and Kenn Young USE THIS-jpg

Next on the list is Kenn and Madeline Young for their many acts of generosity throughout their neighborhood and community.

Kenn and Madeline are pleased to accept their $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation, which will be directed to the ASPCA and Loaves & Fishes.

Sophia Darling

Sophia Darling-jpg

Next we will honor Sophia Darling, for her dedication to educating, mentoring, and motivating youth as well as using her professional skills to help build careers.

Sophia is pleased to accept the $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation and will direct it to the Groton Agricultural Advisory Board.

Sandy and Jim Schoenfeldt

Now we will honor honor Sandy and Jim Schoenfeldt for their twenty years of active volunteerism with and support the Special Olympics serving the Southern Tier, Tompkins, and Cortland Counties.

Sandy and Jim Schoendfeldt are pleased to accept the $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation, which will be directed to Special Olympics Area 17.

Richard Wohlgemuth

Finally, we honor Richard Wohlgemuth of Wildlife Wishing Well of Ithaca for his dedication to rehabilitating and releasing over 1,000 orphaned baby wild animals since becoming licensed in New York State (NYS) twelve years ago.

Richard is pleased to accept this $2,280 donation from the Legacy Foundation, which will be directed to Wildlife Wishing Well of Ithaca. 

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