Anne Alford & Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation
Historic Gift will Forever Support Buffalo City Mission, FeedMore WNY and
Friends of Night People
The Surdam family has been a part of Buffalo’s history for more than a century. Lewis Surdam – Manson’s grandfather – was a senior executive at the F.W. Woolworth company for many years. In his role, Lewis traveled throughout Europe sourcing merchandise and on one of these trips, Lewis acquired a unique patent that served as the genesis of the Osmose Wood preserving company that he founded in Buffalo in 1934. Lewis’ son John, Manson’s father – joined the company in 1938 and worked his way up to president. In 1985 the Surdam Family established the Osmose Employee Stock Ownership Program. This allowed the employees to become owners and fully benefit from the company’s ongoing success – and the eventual sale of the company in 2012. Manson explored the world pursuing a life of philanthropy and passed away in 2016. Anne was an operating room nurse and passed away last year. Anne, like Mason, was committed to supporting organizations that lift people out of poverty.
Anne Alford and Mason Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation
The Surdams were committed to supporting organizations that lift people out of poverty. They bequeathed a gift of $26 million to support three organizations that address the basic needs of those experiencing poverty in our region – Buffalo City Mission, FeedMore WNY and Friends of Night People. This permanent endowment fund at the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies has been named the Anne Alford and Manson Fiske Surdam Charitable Foundation.
An endowment is set up so that the principal is protected and invested, and in turn, a portion of the value is distributed annually forever. Due to the merger of the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY, FeedMore WNY will receive approximately $500,000 a year and the Buffalo City Mission and Friends of Night People will receive approximately $250,000 each per year. The organizations have the flexibility to determine how to best use those funds to carry out their missions.
This is the largest private philanthropic gift our community has ever received to provide food, shelter and poverty relief. The Legacy the Surdams left for our community will make an impact for years to come.
Click on the video below to watch the recap of the press conference.
The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies would be honored to assist you and your family in preserving your legacy.