November 06 2015
Friday, November 13, marks the 30th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day. At Central Florida Foundation, we are honored to present the first Kenneth F. Murrah Esq. Award for Outstanding Philanthropist. Although Mr. Murrah passed away in December 2014, his legacy will continue in Central Florida forever. In light of this special day, we’d like to recount some of the things that made Mr. Murrah an invaluable member of this community.
Mr. Murrah was a community leader and charitable investor who brought his own money and influence, and that of his clients and colleagues, to foster long-term investment in Winter Park nonprofits. He was an integral part of the Winter Park Community Foundation (WPCF), an affiliate of the Central Florida Foundation (CFF). His high regard for the work of the Foundation made him an integral part of the WPCF for 20 years. Mr. Murrah always went above and beyond each year on the committee to bring feedback to the process and make the experience great for committee members and grantees. Through grant-making from the Foundation, more than $1 million has been invested through dozens of nonprofits to help improve the quality of life in Winter Park. Mr. Murrah’s insight and expertise helped steward much of that investment. During the last years of his life, he worked with CFF to secure his legacy and endow organizations important to him. He endowed the Principal Timpani chair at the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, created an endowment for Bach Festival, and endowed the Phase 2 of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Murrah served as a member of the Board of Directors and various committees (2000-2014) at CFF.
Mr. Murrah has had an impact in driving social change. He knew the work of many nonprofits through personal interactions, giving, and service as a member of a nonprofit board of directors, including The Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and Winter Park Library. He had a passion for helping those less fortunate and recognized the value of educating the youth of our community. Mr. Murrah believed in the power of the arts to change lives and shape children. Through part of his philanthropy he sought ways to provide access to the arts for those who otherwise would not be able to afford it or have transportation to arts performances.
Mr. Murrah demonstrated his leadership through his Winter Park historical presentations and service on nonprofit boards. During the last three years of his participation on the WPCF advisory committee, Mr. Murrah served as a mentor to students at Rollins College as part of the Foundation’s student-led grant-making initiative. He relished this role and imparted his own historical accounts of life in Winter Park to further enrich the students’ experience. He made a special effort to help students with their public speaking during class and reminded them to “look up and project!” As a trusted professional advisor and lawyer, he guided his clients to make charitable investments in their community and through that counsel created gifts to nonprofits, foundations, and charitable funds at the Winter Park Community Foundation.
We felt that because of Mr. Murrah’s service to the community through his own philanthropy, he should be recognized as the first recipient of this award. We are honored to sponsor this award that will continue to recognize individuals that embody Mr. Murrah’s spirit of service, leadership and philanthropy that represent Building Community by Building Philanthropy.