New Community Builder: Pat Owen

Helping Broward Residents Thrive Through New Paths to Employment

September 5, 2022

Pat Owen had “an appetite for hard work and a heart that beat for others.” That's how the South Florida Sun Sentinel described this inspiring businesswoman and philanthropist, who turned her retirement into an opportunity to change lives in the community she loved.

Pat lived a life far bigger than her small-town Kentucky upbringing. During World War 11, she left college early to support the Civil Air Patrol in Dayton, Ohio. There, Pat met her future husband, Murnie “Buzz” Owen, who taught her how to fly before she even learned to drive a car.

After Pat and Buzz married, they launched Viking Import House Inc., a collectibles business that would become the leading distributor of Christmas plates in the country. A love of sailing inspired them to move the business from Dayton to Fort Lauderdale. One of their great adventures was sailing their 40-foot boat "The Viking" from Oslo, Norway to European ports and finally 3,000 miles to Miami in 1966.

When Buzz passed, Pat started a new chapter in her life. At 75, she created Second Chance Society- a nonprofit that has helped thousands of people overcome homelessness and other struggles by providing educational opportunities and other tools for employment, as well as identification cards. Now Pat has partnered with the Community Foundation of Broward

to ensure a sustainable source of support for Second Chance Society's important mission.

Pat's 2022 estate gift to the Community Foundation created the endowed Pat Owen Charitable Fund. With the Community Foundation's expert team to shepherd and grow her endowed fund, grants in Pat's name will transform lives through Second Chance Society – for generations to come.

“Pat truly understood the need to help others in her community and we hope that her legacy will be remembered and carried on forever through her charity, Second Chance Society.” – Nancy Woods, Pat Owen’s sister
Pat Owen is a new Community Builder for the Community Foundation of Broward.

More About Our Community Builders

Community Builders are BOLD leaders who partner with the Community Foundation to establish endowed charitable Funds of $1 million or more to shape a brighter future for the community they love.

Through the power of endowment, the gifts from these individuals, families and local organizations fuel innovation and tackle Broward’s biggest issues today and forever.

Click here to learn more about all of our Community Builders.

How To Become A Community Builder

Thanks to the momentum of our BE BOLD Leadership Campaign, more visionary local philanthropists are stepping up to join the ranks of our Community Builders.

The BE BOLD Leadership Campaign sparks innovation, inspires new thinking and uses the power of endowment to create permanent resources that tackle Broward’s big challenges. With a one-time gift or a pledge to build your support over time, you can create an endowed charitable Fund and become a Community Builder who shapes a brighter future for Broward.

Click here to learn more about the BE BOLD Leadership Campaign.

Learn More

To learn more about our Community Builders and the BE BOLD Leadership Campaign, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

Community Builders

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