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West Chester Downtown Foundation Expands its Operations

WEST CHESTER – A new development has recently been completed to allow philanthropic support for West Chester based causes. The West Chester Downtown Foundation (WCDF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, announced the completion a transfer of assets between the WCDF and the West Chester Civic Association at its June meeting. This allows the WCDF to continue to distribute grants to local 501(c)(3) charities within West Chester Borough in a manner similar to that of the Civic Association.

“We are very pleased to be able to continue the valuable contribution that the Civic Association has been providing for 87 years,” said Kathleen Wileczek, President of West Chester Downtown Foundation. “Our organizations share a common mission and due to the transfer we can now expand our resources to help worthy local causes.”

The West Chester Civic Association was created in 1928 as the sole beneficiary of funds provided by community banks. The Civic Association was governed by a board of community leaders who distributed funds to deserving charities within the greater West Chester Area. However, the Civic Association’s activity in the past few years had diminished. In 2011, the WCDF was contacted to possibly assist in keeping the philanthropic giving of the Civic Association active.

The mission of both organizations was complimentary: promoting community interest in the vitality, culture, and livability of West Chester through education, preservation and collaboration. The state of Pennsylvania approved the transfer of funds from the Civic Association to the WCDF in March of 2015.

The WCDF board then formed a grant committee to distribute funds to community organizations on an annual basis. The first award was made at the WCDF’s very successful “Up on the Roof” fundraiser where a $2,500 grant was given to the Fame Fire Company Capital Campaign.

The WCDF is excited to be launching their first official grant giving process this summer. “All 501(c)(3) non-profits in the greater West Chester area are invited to apply for a West Chester Downtown Foundation grant this summer between July 13th and August 14th,” said Matt Holliday, who is the Vice President of the West Chester Downtown Foundation and Chairman of the WCDF Community Grants Committee.

For more information on the grant process and to access the 2015 WCDF grant application please go to or email the WCDF grants committee at

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