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Home > News > Continuing the Legacy of Fred F. Silk

Continuing the Legacy of Fred F. Silk

Date posted: December 10, 2021

Continuing the Legacy of Fred F. Silk

Thanks to careful planning and a new charitable fund at Stark Community Foundation, the legacy of Fred Silk and his lifelong support of the Stark County community will continue forever.

Born in Massillon in 1911, Frederick “Fred” F. Silk valued education and went on to graduate from Washington High School and Ohio Wesleyan University. He served as co-owner of the Massillon Paper Company, a business his grandfather, John Silk, started in 1867.

For many years, Fred served as a member of the Massillon City Club and board member of the Massillon Cemetery Association. He created the Fred F. Silk Charitable Foundation in 1990 that would later receive the bulk of his estate when he passed away in 1995. Since then, his generosity has provided more than $13 million in vital support to charitable causes throughout Stark County. During 2020 alone, the foundation awarded more than $500,000 to local nonprofits.

Recently when considering a succession plan, the trustees of the 31-year-old Fred F. Silk Charitable Foundation decided the best option was to transition the $16.7 million private foundation to a charitable fund of Stark Community Foundation. The new partnership continues the Silk Foundation’s philanthropic impact, provides a turnkey operation with an effective due diligence process and, most importantly, guarantees Fred’s legacy lives on.

“We are humbled by the opportunity to carry on
Fred’s generous spirit and honored to be the steward of a fund that will provide thousands of dollars annually to improve the Stark County community,” said Bridgette Neisel, vice president of advancement at Stark Community Foundation, who worked alongside the trustees to ensure a seamless transition and preserve Fred’s legacy and wishes.

The gift of $16.7 million marks the largest gift ever received in Stark Community Foundation history.

Neisel added, “while Stark Community Foundation received this monumental gift, it really is a gift to all who call Stark County home.”

Although the foundation’s name will change to Fred F. Silk Charitable Fund, its charitable focus will remain the same. The fund will continue to provide annual grantmaking support to a number of local universities and an array of organizations that directly benefit the Stark County community and its residents. The fund will also grow over time through strategic investing, allowing Fred’s philanthropic spirit to give back to the community in perpetuity.

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