Martin County Community Foundation Receives $2.6 million Gift

A gift of $2.6 million will soon be making a big difference in the Martin County community and beyond thanks to the generosity of the late Beatrice M. Rais Merkle of Fort Pierce, FL. Beatrice Merkle’s legacy will forever honor her commitment to philanthropy and her community. With the help of her wealth advisor, Bud Jordan of Merrill Lynch, Merkle donated a portion of her estate as an unrestricted gift to the Martin County Community Foundation.

“Beatrice Merkle wanted to help others and make a difference in her community,” said Jordan.“ She was a dear client who wanted to be sure her gift would continue to make a difference long after she was gone. The Martin County Community Foundation provided a perfect vehicle to support her philanthropy and honor her legacy.”

MCCF’s Board Chairman, Kenneth Norman, Esq. said, “Our board thought carefully about how best to use these resources to honor Ms. Merkle while also responding to community needs. Her generosity in providing these resources without restriction will provide resources for continued impact in our communities.

By creating several endowments in her name, we look forward to seeing the outcome of her compassion in the community.” As the endowment earnings of the Merkle gift increase, MCCF, the community, and designated organizations will continue to benefit from Ms. Merkle’s generosity. A portion of the gift was used to create a designated endowment fund which will provide annual grants to support organizations that Merkle was passionate about, including the American Cancer Society, Florida Division; American Heart Association; Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children; Salvation Army of Fort Pierce; and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We are grateful for the generous support of Beatrice Merkle. It will help us further our mission of saving lives from cancer, which will be diagnosed in more than 114,000 Floridians this year,” said Arleen Uria – Speed, American Cancer Society senior director, community engagement. The Beatrice M. Rais Merkle Community Fund will allow MCCF to award grants in response to the community’s changing needs and allows the foundation to address issues as they emerge, while a portion of the resources will also help MCCF expand its own services. By creating unrestricted funds, donors create a legacy that will grow and change as their community does. MCCF grants are awarded from endowed funds, such as the Merkle Fund, with priorities established by individual donors.

Organizations wishing to apply for funding should contact Jillian Vukusich, MCCF executive director, at [email protected]. MCCF is accepting
Letters of Inquiry until May 8th through an online application process. Thanks to her gift to the Martin County Community Foundation, Beatrice Merkle’s
legacy and giving spirit lives on, continuing to make a positive impact in our community for years to come.

To learn how the Martin County Community Foundation can assist with your personalized philanthropy plan or for grant opportunities, call 772-288-3795 or visit About the Martin County Community Foundation The mission of the Martin County Community Foundation is to facilitate philanthropy. Established in 1988, it is a nonprofit, charitable foundation consisting of named funds established by many separate donors to support the common good. The Martin County Community Foundation serves as a vehicle for donors to make positive, long – term change by supporting causes and organizations they are passionate about. For more information, call 772-288-3795 or visit