At every one of our board meetings, we spend some time looking at new projects and thinking about how
to fine tune our mission for the long term. Memorializing Phil and helping feed, save, and enrich
those in need has been rewarding, and will continue to be a major focus of our foundation.
HOWEVER, as my kids often say, "Dad it's time to join the 21st century and stop purchasing 1970's
and '80's greatest hits CD's." Toward that end, during 2010, the trustees began to soul search
with an eye toward broadening our base of potential funding ideas. Importantly, we will continue
our "hands on" approach that has enabled us to fund organizations whose work should impact future
generations. We also intend to stick to our mission statement, which is posted on the foundation
We continue to donate to Camp AmeriKids, a now independently run summer camp for children who either
have or are affected by the AIDS epidemic. We have targeted their Young Leaders program, which trains
former campers to lead the summer camp sessions. This introduces them to adult responsibilities and
prepares them for life's realities. We recently attended a fund raising event for AmeriKids and will
be updating their grant page on our site. Also, during 2010, Jim Hubbard, a past recipient of Phil
Zwickler grants for his film archive work, was awarded a major grant by the Harvard University Library
to purchase the footage of his ACTUP Oral History Project. Jim has filmed 129 AIDS activists who
tell magnificent stories and talk about the ongoing AIDS crisis. With an eye toward the future, we
are currently interviewing several individuals whom we personally know. They will speak about the
AIDS epidemic with a focus on domestic policies, and how future generations' need to live with and/or
avoid this ongoing plague. These interviews will be on our website in the near future.
Our initial look outside "the box" came in the fall 2010, when we awarded our first environmental grant
to Tess Geers, a graduate student at Stony Brook University. Her Master's degree focus is on Marine
Life and the Oceans. She is beginning to examine the unfolding danger of specific fish populations
that the Gulf Oil Spill may have created. The U.S. derives a significant amount of fish from the Gulf,
so her study will surely be vital in preserving a critical natural resource. We were immediately
attracted to her project for two reasons: 1) Phil was passionate about environmental causes; and
2) he also loved to teach and mentor students. I met Tess and she fit the mold. As an added bonus
she was outgoing and an excellent writer, both traits that Phil definitely appreciated. Since
submitting the proposal to us in September (which we funded late in the year), she has written two
updates which highlighted her visits to scientists in the Southern region of the U.S. All three
of the letters are on our site under the Ocean Conservation Science grant page tab. Tess's grant
was a first step toward "refining our mission."
Lastly, I note with great pride that in late 2010 I was invited to be on the Board of AIDS Service Center (ASC),
an organization that we have been funding since 2005. This nomination coincided with the 10th anniversary of
ASC Poet's workshop, which we have funded for the past 6 years. Their latest poetry publication (volume #13)
was called 100 Poets, 100 Poems. It makes great reading (go to www.ascnyc.org if you would like to receive a free copy),
and reflects how poets live with their "demons" and work to "slay" them. ASC is a growing organization, which,
like many non-profits, relies almost entirely on Federal, State and City funds in order to survive. The days of
"free money" are dwindling, so it is our job as a foundation and individuals to step up and fill the void. This
needs to be done with donations, pro-bono work or just by making introductions. The future is now; and we all
must rise to the occasion and not feel uncomfortable about asking our peers to help these well run non-profits.
Yes, we are all "time poor," but we must not become "morally bankrupt."
On a somber note, in 2011 we will be memorializing the 20th anniversary of the death of Phil with a redesign of the
Website, including interviews, and updates from many of the non-profits that we have supported. Please visit in
the late Summer when all the new work will be posted. Oh yes, my daughter Randi will be designing a Facebook
page for us. So look for us in the 21st Century "social network scene" and pay attention as 2011 is promising
to be one of our most productive years ever.
Until Next Year,
Phil Zwickler Charitable & Memorial Foundation Trust