Mimi Barash Coppersmith was named the 2017 recipient of Centre Foundation's Oak Tree Award.
The award, which is given annually to an individual for service and commitment to Centre Foundation's philanthropic efforts and the local community, was presented at the foundation's annual dinner on Wednesday.
In addition to the award, the foundation announced the creation of the Mimi Barash Coppersmith Women in Leadership Fund. The fund was created by Coppersmith's friend Barbara Palmer to create "a lasting tribute to Mimi’s success and her role in encouraging and mentoring local women in leadership roles." It will benefit nonprofit organizations that encourage and support women taking leadership roles around community issues.
Coppersmith, a longtime State College resident and philanthropist and founder of Barash Media, has established two funds at Centre Foundation.
The Mimi Fund was established in 2005 to support the ongoing work of Centre Foundation, allowing it to provide greater funding to charitable organizations and enhance donor services. The Mimi Barash Coppersmith Fund for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, was established in 2013 and has grown to $73,000. The fund has provided camp scholarships for girls throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania.
She recently played an instrumental role in establishing a third fund, working with her daughter Nan Barash to create the Bon Bon Fund, which will provide scholarships to State College High School students who experienced the loss of a parent.
Coppersmith's extensive community involvement has included roles as a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, campaign coordinator for Centre Lifelink’s capital campaign, board member at the Palmer Museum of Art and chairman of the capital campaigns for the Women’s Resource Center and Hemlock Girl Scout Council.
A Penn State trustee emeritus, she was the first woman to chair the university's board. She has served on the board of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and has been honored as Renaissance Person of the Year by Penn State.
Coppersmith also is a recipient of the Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed on PSU graduates.
More than 200 community members attended Wednesday's Centre Foundation dinner, which is held each year in appreciation of donors who have utilized Centre Foundation as a way to make an impact in the local area by establishing nonprofit organizational endowment funds. Donors can also be engaged and make an impact through the foundation’s Giving Circle, Centre Gives, Centre PACT – Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens, or by joining the Campbell Legacy Society for future gifts.
Centre County Gazette's Sean Yoder contributed to this story.