Selma B. Waterman and Edna Blade Endowment for the Geneseo Community Park District


How can you propel a community into the future?

Establish an affiliate foundation with us.

Geneseo had that foresight a few years ago when they established Geneseo Is For Tomorrow, or GIFT.

And when they did that, the Selma B. Waterman and Edna Blade Charitable Foundation found a new home.

Selma Blade Waterman lived with her husband, Henry Waterman, Geneseo native and attorney with the firm that is now White and Jones, in Geneseo for many years. She returned to her hometown of Milwaukee, Wis., in the 1970s after the death of her husband to reside with her sister, Edna Blade.

Though Selma came to Geneseo from Milwaukee, her family had long-since had ties to the Quad-City area. Her father, Max Blade, loaned money to newspaper publisher E.P. Adler, for the purchase of the Davenport Democrat, a predecessor to the Quad-City Times.

To people that knew her, Selma was "a wonderful lady." She was "a very, very smart woman." She and Henry contributed anonymously to several Geneseo-area organizations, and Selma was one of the first to sit on the Board of Directors for what is now Hammond-Henry Hospital in Geneseo, serving from 1950-1958.

The $1.1 million gift to GIFT from the Waterman-Blade Foundation has already benefited the Geneseo Park District at Selma’s request. Selma and Edna’s legacies will live forever, and their gift will forever fund a better community for Geneseo.

GIFT, established in 2002, was born as an affiliate of the Community Foundation, allowing it to pool assets with a larger foundation for administrative and investment purposes. GIFT also avoided costs normally associated with the establishment of a separate foundation, and did not have to set up policies and procedures of its own. The affiliation gives GIFT access to the Community Foundation’s specialized software and other resources as well.

“My ponderings about my nest egg, and the needs of Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. seemed like a match! And the Community Foundation is the matchmaker."

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Did You Know?

The Community Foundation made its first grant from the Community Impact Endowment in 1967. That grant, of $2,000, was funded by an estate gift from Bea Conrad.
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