Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation honors first director

The Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation has endowed the Green River Area Community Foundation, or GRACF, with a fund in memory of Esther Jansing, the first executive director of the Young Foundation.

The Esther Jansing Memorial Fund will provide scholarships to nonprofit staff to participate in leadership opportunities, specifically the Leadership Owensboro Program, according to Young Foundation Executive Director Sara Hemingway.

Leadership Owensboro is a program facilitated by the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce to educate and familiarize participants with opportunities, needs, challenges and resources within the Owensboro community, as well as provide professional development and networking opportunities.

“To me, it’s the essential leadership training for any Owensboro citizen who wants to become civically engaged,” Hemingway said. “It also gives them an opportunity to be around like-minded citizens who want to make this community better.”

Jansing, who died Jan. 16, was passionate about the Leadership Owensboro Program, according to Hemingway, and directed the program for a period of time.

“We consulted with her widower, Dr. Bill Jansing and asked him what would be his preference. We didn’t want to do anything without his blessing,” she said. “He said Esther was involved in a lot of different things in our community but Leadership Owensboro was her true love … That speaks to who Esther was … She took great interest in every Leadership Owensboro participant and really wanted them to have a great experience.”