The seeds of the Boiardi Foundation were planted shortly after George's tragic death. His peers were inspired by the child literacy work George had done in the Ithaca, NY, community, and his pursuit of a position with Teach For America South Dakota was emblematic of his commitment to helping others. In April of 2005 his peers launched a fundraiser on behalf of the Ithaca Family Reading Partnership, and a second event benefitting Teach for America was held in January of 2006. The Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation was formally established in 2007 to unify and expand upon those efforts, and to honor George's legacy by pursuing our mission of
"Providing Opportunities for Future Leaders"
Since 2007 the Boiardi Foundation has raised money through a series of annual events like the 21 Run, which is still held in Ithaca each year, as well as past events including the 21 Dinner, the 21 Run West, Team 21, the Boiardi Open Golf Tournament, and the Capital Lacrosse Invitational. Significant funding has also come from individual contributions and from sales of The Hard Hat, a book authored by Jon Gordon, who generously donates the royalties to the Foundation.
The Foundation has distributed approximately half of the funds it has raised, with the balance being retained for future distribution, giving the Foundation the ability to have a lasting impact. The recipients of the Foundation’s grants include both organizations and individual students. The organizations chosen embody the selflessness, compassion, and dedication that George is remembered for, and are causes that were dear to George. They span both academics and athletics. Past recipients include Teach For America, the Family Reading Partnership of Ithaca, and Lacrosse for Life. The Foundation also provides financial assistance to deserving elementary and high school students who wish to attend academic, athletic, or other educational extracurricular programs. Since 2014, sponsoring these students has been the largest part of our philanthropic activity. We hope that the Foundation and its grant recipients leave every person and community they interact with better than they found it, just as George would have.
The Mario St George Boiardi Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax I.D. 26-1141871), and contributions are tax-deducible to the extent allowed by law. For more information, please contact us at TheBoiardiFoundation@gmail.com.