We at the Community Chest are LuEsther Mertz devotees and were thrilled to read Vicky Campaniello’s piece in the Feb. 2 edition of the Port Washington News entitled, “PCH’s LuEsther Turner Mertz’s Legacy.” We’d like to note one correction to the facts in that wonderful article. In the second paragraph, Ms. Campaniello states that the building at 382 Main Street, “was donated to the community.” In fact the building was donated to the Community Chest of Port Washington in 1969.
For those who “get a kick” out of historical matters, herein is the language from that agreement:
“The party of the first part [the Mertz Foundation] desiring to make a charitable contribution to the party of the second part [the Community Chest of Port Washington] of that certain plot of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected [at 382 Main St.], so long as said premises shall be used exclusively for charitable or educational purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code for the benefit of residents of the community of Port Washington.”
So while it is true that the ultimate beneficiaries of the donation are the people of Port, the legal charitable gift was made to the Community Chest of Port Washington. Since 1969, we have managed the building on a break-even basis in order to provide below market-rate space to our tenants. Today, we have 11 nonprofit tenants—all providing services to Port Washington residents.
Someone once said that whatever we possess becomes multiplied when we share it with others. Looking around at the impact that LuEsther T. Mertz and the Mertz Foundation’s generous donations have made to our organization and the people of Port, I know that to be true.
—Julie Meer Harnick