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Donor Spotlight
picture of Jim and Terry
Jim and Terry Byrnes

In 1988, Jim and Terry Byrnes moved to Ithaca.  Jim was hired to be the new president of Tompkins Trust Company, now known as Tompkins Community Bank.  It was a coming home of sorts as Jim had attended Cornell and Terry’s father was a Cornellian.

As the new president of Tompkins Trust Company, Jim had a seat on the Tompkins County Foundation board, now known as The Legacy Foundation. Both he and Terry are very community minded, and the work of the Legacy Foundation – funding non-profit organizations that make our community a better place to live – resonated with them both immediately. Jim quickly became very involved with the community through his work as President of the Bank, as well as through the work he did at Legacy.

Terry had also been working in the banking industry, but since she was moving to a new community with a young child, she decided to get involved by volunteering. She joined the hospital board and served on her son’s school PTA. Later Terry became instrumental in the creation of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) and its program, Kids Discover the Trail!. Terry’s main interest has always been education.

Jim served on the Legacy Foundation Board of Directors from 1989 until 2006. “The Foundation gave me the opportunity to learn about our non-profit sector in depth” says Jim, “I felt that the mission of the bank and the mission of the Foundation had much in common.”

Jim retired from Tompkins Trust Company in 2014 and they now split their time between Ithaca and Florida. As annual donors to the Legacy Foundation, their commitment to the Ithaca community and the work of the Foundation remains strong. “Supporting the Foundation is very important to both of us,” says Jim, “because making a gift to Legacy ensures that the money will be used locally to help this community.” (Legacy serves Tompkins County exclusively.) “I know first-hand that the board conducts a careful review of all the grants submitted and considers the health of the community as a whole when making awards. That is important to us as well.”

Jim and Terry look at their giving as a way to show their affection for a community to which they have strong ties. They feel their giving will be well-stewarded and will help those future community members yet to come. They were once new to Ithaca and Tompkins County and want others settling here to find the same caring and welcoming community they did.

The Legacy Foundation is grateful to have such wonderful supporters like Jim and Terry!

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