Poughkeepsie Leaders Deepen Community Investment

Couple continue their legacy of service through Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley
POUGHKEEPSIE – Area residents and community leaders Bernard and Shirley Handel have converted their family foundation into a fund at the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. In so doing, the pair will continue their efforts of improving life throughout the region – while strengthening the nonprofit’s work of serving the community.
“By moving the Bernard and Shirley Handel Foundation into a donor advised fund at the Community Foundations, we’re relieved of the paperwork and administration, and can focus on enjoying giving to our community,” said Bernard Handel.

“Bernard and Shirley exemplify the guiding values of the Foundations. Their generosity is equally matched by their dedication to making a real difference,” said March Gallagher, President & CEO of the Community Foundations. “We are honored that they have entrusted us with their philanthropy, and look forward to facilitating their charitable aims.”

A Hudson Valley native of Dutch ancestry dating back to the mid- 1600’s, Shirley Handel has been a corporate executive, fiscal officer and administrator of pension and health care plans. Her volunteer work includes current board service at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum, and she has previously served on boards of numerous local nonprofits. Bernard Handel was born and raised in New York City, but has spent most of his life in the Hudson Valley. Bernard is a retired CPA and attorney, and headed Handel Group of companies for over 50 years. As an extension of his work administering benefits, he was one of the founders of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). His volunteer work includes board service and previous terms as board chair of Hudson Valley Health Systems Agency, Vassar Brothers Medical Center and Dutchess Community College Foundation. In addition, he served on the New York State Hospital Review Council for 13 years by nomination of two New York Governors, and received an honorary doctorate from SUNY.
The pair has received awards and recognition from many organizations, including but not limited to: the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Anti-Defamation League, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County Historical Society, Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, Saint Francis Hospital, the State University of New York, SUNY Dutchess, and Vassar Brothers Hospital.

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