APSA Foundation Grants

In 1991, a small group of APSA members led by Dr. Albert H. Wilkinson, Jr, of Jacksonville, FL discussed establishing a Foundation for APSA to foster support for scientific investigation in the field of children’s surgery by providing an Annual Enrichment Grant to qualified applicants. The group included former Presidents Kathryn Anderson, James A. O’Neill, Jr, the late Alfred A. de Lorimier, then current President Dick Ellis, the APSA Treasurer Bradley Rodgers and the APSA Secretary Keith Ashcraft. Dr. Wilkinson was the driving force, and with the aid of a Jacksonville law firm, he developed the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation which took effect on October 7, 1992. The Articles of Incorporation of the APSA Foundation were filed with the Secretary of State of Florida on February 2, 1993. Certification followed on March 19, 1993. The initial officers of the Foundation include President Dick Ellis, SecretaryKeith Ashcraft, and Treasurer Bradley Rodgers, Dr. Wilkinson served as the Foundation Agent in the State of Florida. On May 3, 1994 an application for a 501(c3) tax exempt charitable corporation was filed with the Internal Revenue Service and was approved by the US Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service on March 15, 1995. At the time, the Foundation Board was led by Jay Grosfeld, APSA President, Donald R. Cooney, Treasurer and Howard Filston, Secretary.
 
Initially, only 2% of the APSA membership contributed to the fledgling Foundation. The corpus of the Foundation grew slowly, and the first Enrichment Grant was awarded in 1996 to Dr. Michael Caty in the amount of $9,825. In 1997, the Foundation by-laws were amended and the Board of Directors membership revised to include (1) the 4 past-presidents of APSA, (2) the APSA Secretary, (3) the APSA Treasurer and (4) one at-large member, elected to a three-year term by the general membership at the Annual Business Meeting. A formal grant application process with stringent peer review was established as the method for selecting each Annual Enrichment Grant recipient.
 
By its third year, contributors to the APSA Foundation had increased to 7% of the total APSA membership. In 1998, efforts to enhance donor participation were increased by further formalization of the donation process. Dr. Grosfeld was asked to continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors, serving indefinitely at the discretion of the Board. In 2003, Dr. Wilkinson stepped down as Foundation Agent and was replaced by Dr. John Noseworthy. 

The active APSA President was considered an ex officio member of the Foundation Board, and in 2007, a second at-large member was added to the Board. Unfortunately, both Drs. Wilkinson (2015) and Noseworthy (2014) have subsequently passed away, and we are ever so grateful to them for their loyal service to the Foundation. Dr. Dan Robie of Jacksonville, FL is the current Foundation agent.
 
APSA Foundation gift level categories were established including Donor (up to $1,000), Gold Donor ($1,000 or more), Robert E. Gross benefactor ($5,000) and more recently, the William A. Ladd Society level of giving ($10.000) was added. The latter three levels can be achieved by cumulative annual gifts. The corpus of the Foundation has at times exceeded $650,000 despite the fact that less than 20% of the membership have as yet contributed to the Fund. The stipend for each Grant has gradually increased, at first to $10,000, and subsequently to $25,000. Currently, two Grants are awarded annually. Since its inception, donations to the APSA Foundation have eclipsed $1,000,000. The Foundation has provided more than $560,000 in grant support for our young pediatric surgeon-scientists (see the recipient list). The return on investment has been extraordinary! Most of the recipients (>50%) have used their Enrichment Grants from the APSA Foundation as a springboard from which to acquire significant external funding from the NIH and other sources.