Norma Edsall & Alice Corbin

In Their Own Words: Alice Corbin & Norma Edsall

Residents of Columbia County, NY since 1969, ALICE CORBIN (LEFT) and NORMA EDSALL established a donor advised fund in 1997. They count education, conservation and preservation among their chief interests, and keep alive their families’ long traditions of generosity with their giving.

Alice: Growing up in Ohio, my family was pretty involved in the church and community. My parents owned a grocery store, so there was a fair amount of community spirit in terms of donating food for this, that and the other thing.

Norma: My family participated in various fundraising activities in town and giving of their time and energy was a way of life. I am fortunate to have grown up in such an environment.

Alice: Both of us are pretty well organized, and in different areas. As a result we’ve ended up taking on a variety of projects and helped each other get things put together.

Norma: There’s something very pleasurable in being in a position to help a group meet a particular goal. I feel fortunate that I have been able to contribute monetary support as well as active participation.

Alice: Working through Berkshire Taconic makes for a bigger bank than your own checkbook. It’s an opportunity to pool monies, and make them bigger than individual contributions.

Norma: If you make giving a habit, it really becomes a part of your life. You find you can do far more than you thought you could, if this becomes a part of your thinking and what you do on a regular basis. You know, whether that’s giving a little more to a fire company’s breakfast or underwriting a specific aspect of an event or supporting a scholarship drive, you can assist an individual or group in moving toward a goal. It has become, frankly, an integral part of how we live, what we do and what we will continue to do.

Editor's Note: This archival interview celebrates the generosity of Alice Corbin and Norma Edsall, who died in 2021 and 2017, respectively. We are grateful to have known them.