Early 1990, while hanging together in the backyard of the family home in Bethlehem, Connecticut, family members discussed starting the Leever Foundation.
On January 23, 1991, the article of incorporation were officially approved.
The start of the Leever Cancer Center Story.
Harold and the family’s generous gift to Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary hospital to build a cancer center in collaboration with other local Waterbury healthcare entities.
In January 2001, Harold's wife, Ruth Ann, took on the role of Chair at the Foundation after her husband's passing.
In June 2001, the Foundation worked closely and in collaboration with the then Waterbury Foundation, now Connecticut Community Foundation.
The first grant, a total of $250,000, is given to fund YouthNet.
YouthNet is an effort to bring new after school programs to inner cit youth in Waterbury, Connecticut. A collaboration of the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Leever Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Waterbury, this project was developed in response to the lack of after school programs located in the target neighborhoods; limited programs for middle school students; few academic enrichment, tutoring, arts, or cultural programs; reduced opportunities for girls; and a population of middle school youth unable to participate in programs of any type due to responsibility of younger siblings.
The Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center opened its doors as a world-class, comprehensive cancer center providing coordinated and enhanced services to cancer patients and families of greater Waterbury
The founding matriarch, Ruth Ann Leever, passed.
"Keep your heart young and your expectations high and never allow your dreams to die."
- Ruth Ann Leever
In an effort to define a next phase for the Foundation, the board started a Strategic planning process that highlighted a DEI and transformative change focus for the foundation.
The Foundation Board determined that it wanted to operate independently from the Connecticut Community Foundation.
The first executive director, Saran D. White, MPA, is hired to run the autonomous organization.
The Foundation responds to the pandemic with its own responsive grantmaking and coordinated grantmaking with other Waterbury funders.
The Foundation developed an intentional, values-aligned, equity-driven, trust-based, grantee centered and community-informed theory of change.
The first community board member, Bilal Tajildeen, is voted in as chair of the Foundation.