2016-05-01 / Spotlight

Giving Spirit

Maggie Anderson

Molly Kunkel has given a lot to our community. From her stint in education to her nonprofit work, the executive director of the Centre Foundation is all about giving back. That’s why she started Centre Gives, the 36-hour online giving event that happens each May. Now in its fifth year, the event will feature 124 participating organizations. “Centre Gives not only helps them raise the funds that they need, but it also enables us to help them be better at raising the funds that they need,” says Kunkel. Before Centre Gives kicks off on May 4, we caught up with her to find out what keeps her in a giving mood.

Home Sweet Home
The Kunkels’ house is built about halfway up Tussey Mountain, with views of the whole valley and beyond. Ample deck space allows Kunkel and her husband, Hal, time to relax. “It’s kind of a sanctuary. We named the house Ventana after a resort in California. It also means ‘windows’ in Spanish, so it seems appropriate.”

We Are Family
Though her kids, Lindsay, 31, and Andrew, 29, are grown and living in New York City and California, respectively, Kunkel says family is one of her most important things. Plus, as she says, “They’re both in great places to visit!”

Animal Friends
“I’ve always had pets. We’re down to one right now because we’re both working a lot,” says Kunkel of her dog, Martha. “I’ve had cats, dogs, mice, Guinea pigs, hermit crabs, fish, lizards, newts… pretty much the whole gamut. I really enjoy having animals around.”

Giving Back
Community is very important to Kunkel. “It’s probably best embodied in the work that I do at the foundation. That’s the biggest part of my life,” she says. And the best part? “It enables me to work with the community on all levels — from art projects to basic necessities — and really just make this community a better place.”

Beach Time
“I have always loved the beach. I love the sand and the sun. It’s very relaxing to me. Sometimes we go to the North Carolina beaches. I grew up going to Delaware beaches — that’s probably where we go most often,” says the Maryland native.

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