How a legacy founded on sisterly love helped inspire an artful "digital neighborhood."
This story of the domino effect of philanthropy begins with a tale of two sisters, Muriel and Gertrude. As Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, tells it, their lives were always entwined. Born in Chicago, they both started out as writers in New York. Muriel went on to a distinguished career in publishing, working at American Heritage, The New York Times, and various magazines. Gertrude returned to school in her 50s and became a psychiatrist. Neither had children, so when they retired, Muriel O’Neil and Dr. Gertrude Hight bought separate condos on the same floor of a downtown Sarasota high-rise overlooking the bay. As donors, volunteers, and audience members, they enjoyed and supported WEDU and performing arts around town.