OFA Foundation receives $1M donation

allen-donationBy Kerry Minor
The Leader Herald

FONDA – The estate of a late Amsterdam husband and wife is continuing to share the couple’s generosity with local organizations.

The Foundation for Montgomery County Office for Aging announced last week it was the recipient of a $1 million donation from the estate of the late George and Frances (Ligmal) Allen.

The OFA Foundation President Del Salmon said the unrestricted endowment will go to help the OFA in the future. He said the funds are not currently designated for anything in particular.

Salmon said the foundation is the fundraising arm of the OFA.

Frances Allen worked most of her life as a secretary for Amsterdam attorney Floyd J. Reinhart and the Tower Inn in Cranesville. George Allen died in 1989 at the age of 80. He worked in the construction field and assisted his brother, Louie Allen, at Louie Allen’s Pool Hall on Market Street in Amsterdam.

Salmon said the couple lived humbly. He said that although she owned a car, Frances Allen walked everywhere.

Frances Allen died Dec. 12, 2015 at the age of 96.

“They were very understated people,” Salmon said. “They were Depression-era survivors who understood what it was like to be without. They lived very frugally.”

Salmon said area organizations were going to be the beneficiary of Mrs. Allen’s generosity well into the future.

“Frances Allen lived a very humble, quiet life. Her charitable bequests were probably a surprise to the community, but very welcome,” Salmon said.

The OFA has renamed the Meals of Montgomery Kitchen in Palatine after the Allens in recognition of their donation. Salmon said on Oct. 6, the kitchen was officially renamed during a ceremony and two plaques were dedicated to the pair.

This is the couple’s second $1 million-plus donation this year.

In April, Fulton-Montgomery Community College announced the Allens had left the FMCC Foundation a $2 million gift – the largest unrestricted gift in the college’s history.

Part of those funds are being put toward the construction of The Allen House, which will serve as the official location of the college’s foundation.

The new structure would contain a meeting space, full-service kitchen and entertaining space.

Salmon said Frances Allen was keenly aware of the need for a public/private partnership when it came to funding.

“She understood that public organziations keep their doors open with public funding, but excel with private funding. They can do a whole lot more,” Salmon said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.

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