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Foundation Updates

Holiday Windows- Telling a Story of Philanthropy in El Paso

December 10, 2015

The El Paso Community Foundation and GECU/MEMBERS Trust Company are putting the life of Frances Roderick Axelson — one of the city’s most generous philanthropists— on display in the new Holiday Windows at the historic Mills Building.

Join us for a free open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 13 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon. Enjoy hot chocolate, cider and seasonal snacks — on the house!

Then step outside to soak in the warmth of our new Holiday Windows, which fill three storefronts with art work, furniture, clothing, and other items from Frannie’s home, loaned by her daughters, Frances Roderick Barnard and Mary Olga Barnard. The windows tell a wonderful story of philanthropy in El Paso, and are a throwback to the days when the Popular and White House department stores fill their storefront windows downtown with colorful displays.

There’s nothing old-fashioned about the way Frances Roderick Axelson led her life. She was devoted to family, philanthropy and leadership, values that never go out of fashion. Frannie was the daughter of former El Paso Times publisher and El Paso Symphony Orchestra Association founder Dorrance D. and Olga Roderick. Frannie was one of the founders of the El Paso Community Foundation in 1977, served on its Board of Directors for 37 years, and helped lead efforts to save and restore the Plaza Theatre. She gave 12 charitable funds to the El Paso Community Foundation.

Special thanks to Paul Foster and Mills Plaza Properties for the generous use of the storefronts.

If you can’t make it this weekend, we will host another open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, December 20. Questions? Call us at 915-533-4020.