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Philadelphia's Lenfests receive Carnegie Medal for their extraordinary philanthropy

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Via | by , Music Critic.

Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest (center, with medals) at the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy luncheon at the New York Public Library.

NEW YORK — As patrons and major supporters of the arts in Philadelphia, Marguerite and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest are used to giving ovations. Tuesday afternoon they received one at a tony luncheon at the New York Public Library as they and seven other recipients accepted the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

The national honor is awarded every two years to philanthropists who have made a significant impact. Past recipients include Brooke Astor, the Rockefeller and Gates families, and Michael Bloomberg, along with Philadelphia’s Annenberg, Pew, and Haas families. This year’s honorees include Jeffrey Skoll, of eBay fame.

In the last dozen and a half years, the Lenfests have distributed more than $1.2 billion to arts and culture, education, social services, and other charitable causes. Major recipients include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of the American Revolution, and the Curtis Institute of Music. Most recently, Gerry Lenfest has acquired, donated, and endowed the media company that publishes the Inquirer, Daily News, and

Though gracious while speaking both from the stage at the awards ceremony and at the luncheon table, Lenfest quietly admitted that he doesn’t love the spotlight.

“It’s difficult for us,” he said. “Marguerite and I, we don’t really like being recognized. We don’t go out of our way to be recognized.”

Read the full article and more about the Lenfests’ philanthropy in Philly.

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