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ECCF’s New Home

In December of 2016, after more than three years of considering options, the Erie County Community Foundation’s Board of Directors moved to accept a generous grant from the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation and move forward in developing the first floor of 135 East Washington Row, Downtown Sandusky, as its permanent home.


Led by Charles Rainger, then Roger Gundlach, the Building Committee chose Janotta & Herner to design a build a new headquarters, executing Mel Stauffer’s vision of a true center for philanthropy. Not only would the new space house larger offices for the Community Foundation, but additional offices would be available for lease to nonprofits or for-profits and a meeting room with up-to-date technology would be made open to the public for convening and collaboration.

Foundation staff moved in June 1, 2018, after seven months of a complete renovation of the 8,500 square foot first floor. The space is bright and transparent with plenty of space for both formal and information meetings. United Way of Erie County was the first to sign on as a tenant, and the Sandusky Education Foundation and Boys & Girls Club of Erie County filled the remaining offices shortly thereafter.


The project would not have been possible without the Dorn Foundation’s vision and investment. The George L. Mylander Foundation made the conference room possible with a grant for technology and furnishings. Laurence and Karen Bettcher, the City of Sandusky, the Sidney Frohman Foundation, the Wightman-Wieber Foundation, and the Sam S. and Rose Stein Foundation all provided major gifts with the Foundation’s board and donors also supporting the project.


Today, we look forward to a bright future in a permanent space in thriving Downtown Sandusky.

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