READING, PA – GoggleWorks Center for the Arts (GoggleWorks) has announced that Dena and Victor Hammel have contributed $260,000 to create an endowment to support children’s programs at the art center.
Dena Hammel, who is on the GoggleWorks board of directors, and her husband Victor have supported the organization since its inception in 2006. “We got involved at the invitation of Irv and Lois Cohen,” said Dena Hammel. “But recently the Goggleworks Executive Director Levi Landis gave a presentation on the success of the recent strategic plan. As a result, Vic and I felt inspired to further support the renewed vision.” The Hammels worked with GoggleWorks leadership to ensure the funding would benefit children’s’ programs that GoggleWorks offers annually, including its After School Arts Program (ASAP), a student ambassador fellowship for six merit-based high schoolers, portfolio preparation, school tours, student exhibitions, and others.
The Hammels’gift marked the celebration of their recent 50th wedding anniversary. Victor used the occasion to further insist that the endowment be solely in his wife’s name. The fund will be established as the Dena Hammel Fund for Children’s Programs. “It is very appropriate that this fund for children be in Dena’s name based on the wonderful mother she has been to our own children and grandchildren as well as her lifelong commitment to other children, particularly those at risk,” said Victor Hammel.
“I am ecstatic about this contribution,” said Landis. “This is the organization’s first endowment gift. It will allow funding for certain youth programs to continue in perpetuity-providing education and creative opportunities to thousands of creative kids regardless of their means.” Landis was hired in 2016 and has made financial sustainability and new program opportunities among his priorities and in 2017 the organization recorded its first annual operating surplus. “We remain focused on raising funds and improving financial management,” Landis admits. “More than anything, though, the work we do every day is about transforming lives.”
GoggleWorks announced that Dena and Victor Hammel will be honored for their leadership and community service toward arts and education at the art center for its annual gala on Saturday, June 2 at 201 Washington St. Reading, PA. Tickets for the event, titled “The Magic of Making” are available online at www.goggleWorks.org or by calling 215-374-4600.