HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY RECEIVES MATCHING GRANT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR THE JAMES AUGUSTINE PONCE ENDOWMENT

West Palm Beach, Fla. | March 29, 2017 – The Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the organization was selected to receive a $25,000 matching grant from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties through the Forever Nonprofit Challenge. These funds will support the development of special exhibitions and is named in honor of the late James Augustine Ponce.

The James Augustine Ponce Endowment for Exhibition Development is the centerpiece for the rollout of the Historical Society’s plans to refresh the permanent galleries of the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, the launch of a paid graduate student internship program, new donor recognition opportunities within the Museum, and a capital campaign to build additional facilities. The new facility will enlarge the nonprofit’s capacity to collect, preserve, and share its extensive archival and artifact collections gathered since 1937 and be suitable to research and prepare special annual exhibitions. The endowment will launch a tremendous vision for the future of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

The endowment is named in honor of Palm Beach County’s beloved historian James Ponce (1917-2015), a celebrated champion of the mission of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County long after his tenure as president of the Board of Governors. Staff recall that after Ponce completed his afternoon tours of Worth Avenue, he would visit the Historical Society and empty his pockets, full of cash donations. He participated in an online history project about his war experiences, and a full-life oral history edited for the Society’s journal, The Tustenegee. Ponce was official historian of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce and The Breakers, and received numerous recognitions for sharing his vast historical knowledge. In 1996 he was honored by the Palm Beach Town Council as the island’s only “Two-Legged Historical Landmark.” In 2011 he received the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau Providencia Award for extraordinary contributions to the vitality and prosperity of the county.

Grier Pressly, chair of the Historical Society’s Board of Governors, said, “Honoring Jim Ponce is an appropriate beginning to the Historical Society’s new partnership with the Community Foundation. As we attract and serve more children and adults through enriching exhibitions and education programs, we invite others to help grow the endowment to continue these programs for future generations.” President and CEO Jeremy Johnson added, “Everyone who knew Jim Ponce will appreciate how pleased we are to honor his legacy as a historian and ambassador for our community. The refreshment of the permanent galleries will include exhibition space to immortalize his place in our hearts and our shared past.”
“The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is proud to partner with the Historical Society of Palm Beach County to help grow its endowment through the Forever Nonprofit Endowment Challenge $25,000 matching grant. An endowment fund provides the Historical Society with future stability and a foundation from which to grow. These grants are an investment into our community,” said Bradley Hurlburt, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

ABOUT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY
Since 1937, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County has collected, preserved, and shared the County’s history. The Society reaches hundreds of thousands of Palm Beach County’s young people, residents, and visitors through its archival collections, the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum in West Palm Beach’s historic 1916 Court House, and community and education programming. To donate, become a member, or learn more about the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, call 561.832.4164 or go online at www.hspbc.org.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR PALM BEACH AND MARTIN COUNTIES
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations, an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. The nonprofit organization has provided nearly $129 million in grants and scholarships over its 44-year history. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor and ensures the charitable dollars entrusted to it are available to the community – forever. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education. For more information, please visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org or call (561) 659-6800.

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