Published Date: September 26, 2001
We're here today to celebrate a couple milestones for the Foundation, one of which will include a grant presentation ... and to announce a major, new grant commitment.
But before we get to that, I'd like to say a few words about someone I wish could be here today - and that's the man who made all this possible ... Charles H. Dater.
Charles died in 1993 at age 81. He had no sons or daughters, and when he was doing his estate planning back in the early 1980's the idea of establishing a foundation came up. That was something that really appealed to him.
Charles was the great grandson of Adam Dater, who came to the United States from Germany in 1830 and settled in Cincinnati at age 48. Adam's son Gilbert inherited his father's work ethic, started a wholesale grocery business, and invested wisely in land purchases. Gilbert's son Charles Henry Dater grew the family fortune with involvement in the stockyards and banking.
When his father died, Charles was just 17 years old ... and he was thrust into helping his mother manage the family's holdings at an early age. He went to the University of Cincinnati, graduated, and then went on to get his M.B.A. at Harvard. He was an officer in the Army in World War II. When his mother died, the family's investments and residential land development became his full-time focus.
I doubt that many of you here today knew Charles. His lifestyle was pretty humble. He lived in a three-bedroom ranch home in Westwood. He liked to eat at Frisch's. He drove his cars until they wouldn't run anymore ... one was a red Dodge Aires, one of those K-cars. And when he didn't feel comfortable driving anymore, he took the bus.
But one thing he always believed in throughout his life was sharing his good fortune with others. When he made gifts and contributions during his lifetime, he told people he didn't want any recognition. The Foundation was founded in 1985, and when we'd give grants in those early days when Charles was still living we'd tell people that Charles and the Foundation didn't want any recognition.
I guess if Charles were alive today, we wouldn't be here celebrating. But those of us who are involved with the Foundation believe it's important to acknowledge Charles' generosity and show how his philanthropic commitment and his vision in establishing a foundation continues to have an impact on the community.###