Pasadena Community Foundation Funds

Vista Nova Renaissance Endowment

Former Resident and Board Chair of Vista Nova Renaissance Community, Peter Hartgens
Former Resident and Board Chair of Vista Nova Renaissance Community, Peter Hartgens

In 1960, 13 members of the Pasadena Braille Club, led by Hadley Stephenson, had a dream to deliver quality housing and services to blind adults in the Pasadena area. By 1966, they raised the funds needed to purchase and remodel a home to create 17 furnished studio apartments for blind residents, with an array of services including three meals a day and cleaning assistance.

For 50 Years, Vista Nova residents had the support of trained therapists, as well as a team of inspired volunteers who served as readers, provided transportation, and companionship. “This was my first time attending the Tournament of Roses Parade. The volunteer who was with me was particularly good at describing the floats as they went by,” said Wilbur Riffle, one of the residents at Vista Nova.

The Pasadena Community Foundation has supported the Vista Nova Renaissance Community since 1973, providing grants for home furnishings, special computer equipment and building repairs.

Several years ago, the Vista Nova home closed; in 2016, the funds from the sale of the property were used to establish the Vista Nova Renaissance Endowment fund that is managed by PCF. The endowment now supports the Vista Nova Grants Program and organizations that assist visually impaired and blind people in the greater Pasadena area and L.A. County. This endowment creates a lasting legacy that honors the work of the original founders by supporting to support a population with unique challenges.

Endowments are the cornerstone of PCF’s mission to build hometown legacies. The corpus of each endowed fund is invested with PCF’s portfolio for long-term growth. Each year, the endowments generate the funds that support PCF’s local grantmaking, which enriches the arts community, protects our environment, provides health care and critical social services, and bolsters public education in Pasadena. Endowments are permanent legacies for our community; these funds will continue to grow and provide philanthropic support forever. Learn more about creating an endowment at PCF.

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