August Urbanek’s Legacy Of Philanthropy Helps Broward Face The Coronavirus

June 8, 2020
The August Urbanek Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward continues the legacy of August Urbanek, shown here with his wife Melba, to help local residents face unforeseen challenges.

August Urbanek wanted to make sure he could be there for Broward when his community needed him the most.

Throughout his life, August used his success as a developer to fuel his desire to make life better in Broward. His philanthropy provided after-school tutoring for children in low-income neighborhoods. Vocational training to help people find careers. Counseling for families in crisis. Emergency shelter for the homeless. And his years of support for the arts in Broward helped inspire and unite the community he loved.

But he didn’t stop there. While August couldn’t have predicted that a pandemic would take so many lives and cripple our economy, he knew disasters would threaten Broward long after he was gone. He wanted a way to help his community, come what may.

So August turned to the Community Foundation of Broward to make it happen. In 2005, he created the August Urbanek Family Fund – an endowed charitable Fund at the Community Foundation dedicated to local disaster relief.

Now, eight years after August died, his Fund at the Community Foundation is providing $150,000 of critical emergency support to help Broward residents face the coronavirus.

Much-needed household supplies, provided with help from the August Urbanek Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward, is helping Naketrice Brown face the economic difficulties of the coronavirus crisis.

The Community Foundation’s philanthropy team has done the legwork to identify Broward residents’ most pressing needs during this crisis. They have developed strategies to target support from August’s Fund where it can create the most impact. For example:

  • August’s Fund is providing a lifeline to residents at risk of getting pushed into homelessness because of lost jobs or reduced wages during the crisis. Now, thanks to his Fund, low-income residents affected by the coronavirus can receive one-time assistance to pay rent, mortgages or other housing fees to avoid eviction. “With this support, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida is assisting families as they work to regain their financial footing,” said Kimberly T. Henderson, President and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.
  • August’s Fund also supports the creation of care packages of food, toiletries, grocery store gift cards and more delivered door to door to isolated seniors, the disabled, the recently unemployed and other residents struggling to get by during the crisis. “Who knows how long this (pandemic) goes. We know people are in need and we can get help to them right away,” said Katharine Barry, President & Founder of H.O.M.E.S. Inc.

These are just two ways that the August’s legacy creates a bold impact for Broward during an unprecedented crisis.

It’s because of August and other visionary philanthropists who have created endowed charitable Funds that the Community Foundation was ready to respond when the coronavirus struck.

Already, the Community Foundation has provided nearly $2 million in immediate coronavirus response. That includes new grants as well as easing restrictions on existing grants so local nonprofits can pivot to tackle residents’ greatest challenges. This provides relief for seniors, the disabled, victims of domestic violence and residents who recently lost jobs.

And this is just the start. Because endowed charitable Funds can last forever, the Community Foundation has nimble resources to tackle our community’s big challenges during this crisis and beyond.

Whether it’s the lingering repercussions of the coronavirus or a hurricane that comes our way, the power of endowment enables the Community Foundation to always be there to provide the resources Broward needs to tackle the Issues That Matter.

Contact Information

For more information about creating an endowed charitable Fund, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

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