Celebrity Philanthropist’s Legacy Continues With $7.7 Million To Local Community Foundation

Trustees overseeing the remaining funds of the Frances Langford Foundation today announced plans to continue the local celebrity philanthropist’s legacy through the Martin County Community Foundation.

More than $7 million remains from the funds once established by Frances Langford, the famous singer and movie star who once made Jensen Beach her home. John Turner, the board president of the Frances Langford Foundation, said the Martin County Community Foundation was chosen for its fiscal responsibility and long-standing dedication to the betterment of Martin County residents.

“Frances Langford would be proud to be partnering with the stewards of the Martin County Community Foundation,” Turner said. “They can be trusted to carry on her good work.” Since Ms. Langford passed away in 2005, her foundation has awarded more than $26 million to112 organizations and programs throughout Martin County. As of Thursday, the new Frances Langford Fund for Martin County will be one of more than 35 charitable funds managed by the Martin County Community Foundation.

Established in 1988, the Martin County Community Foundation facilitates a wide range of philanthropic gifts, based on the interests of the individual donors and the needs of the community. “We’ve helped many people leave a legacy in Martin County, whatever their philanthropic goals are” said Elizabeth Barbella, executive director of the foundation.

“While Ms. Langford’s legacy is already quite vast, it is our ambition to expand herreach even further.” Ms. Langford, whose fame came from staring in more than 30 films, four radio shows and three television shows before moving to Jensen Beach, donated land for parks and preservation, as well as supported charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, Florida Oceanographic Society and Martin Health Systems. It was her donation that founded the United Way of Martin County’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society for those who give $10,000 or more.

Funding guidelines for the new Frances Langford Fund for Martin County will be announced Oct. 6.