Kronkosky Charitable Foundation announces support

... for a broad range of local needs with grants to programs operated by 70 organizations bringing grants since inception to over $200 million

  • $6.7 million grants announced today includes 10 of the Foundation’s charitable areas
  • $500,000 to help fund Boys and Girls Clubs Facility in Comfort, Texas

SAN ANTONIO – The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, with $6.7 million in grants announced today, has surpassed $200 million in support of area nonprofit organizations since its grant making was initiated in May of 1998. These grants are made possible by the remarkable generosity of Bessie Mae and Albert Kronkosky Jr. who funded the Foundation with gifts totaling $351 million. As of November 2013, the Foundation’s investment portfolio, after grants and expenses, was $369 million. The Foundation has an area of geographic emphasis that includes Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties. Attached is a summary of the awarded grants by Charitable Purpose and a listing of all of the grants announced today.

Grants since inception number 2,185 and are broadly classified in the following areas (a more detailed summary is attached to this news release):

Arts activities $25 million
Museums $11 million
Libraries $ 4 million
Health and Human Services
Prevention of child abuse $60 million
Services for the elderly $25 million
Services related to illnesses $21 million
Services for disabled persons $16 million
Character Development of youth $16 million
Other $ 2 million
Other Areas
San Antonio Zoo $ 7 million
Other $14 million

Included in the prevention of child abuse category is $40.5 million provided under the Foundation’s Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative to some 27 agencies that have provided parenting education to an estimated 90-100,000 parents, grandparents and child care workers with children under 4 years of age. Grants totaling $69 million have been capital in nature, including major projects which have been named for the Kronkoskys, including theKronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot at the San Antonio Zoo, Kronkosky Place, the senior center for Kendall County and located in Boerne and the Albert and Bessie Mae Kronkosky Library of Bandera County. Most of the other grants have been for general operations or have been project oriented.

The grants announced today target a broad range of local needs and are among 71 grants totaling $6.9 million approved July through December 2013. Some of the grants announced today are described briefly in the following paragraphs. Also attached is a summary of all of the grants announced today. For all of 2013 a total of $15.4 million in grants were made to area nonprofit organizations.

Grants in Honor of the Founders - $50,000

Each year the Foundation makes an unsolicited, unrestricted $50,000 grant in honor of each of our founders on their birthdates in May for Albert Kronkosky, Jr. and in December for Bessie Mae Kronkosky. A grant to SAY SI was made in honor of Mrs. Kronkosky in December. SAY SI provides art education and character development to high school and middle school youth, primarily from low income families.

Illnesses - $1,575,000

The Autism Community Network, which provides early diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism and for families unable to afford such care, was awarded $500,000 for its operations in 2014. Any Baby Can of San Antonio was awarded $165,000 for its Reaching Families with Autism program which is complementary to the work of the Autism Community Network. The San Antonio Sports Foundation was awarded $200,000 to help fund its Fit Family Challenge program aimed at encouraging families to exercise together and promoting good nutrition. Medical and dental clinics in Bexar and Kendall counties were awarded a total of $175,000 to help fund services for indigent persons. Programs serving persons dealing with substance abuse were awarded $150,000. SLEW Wellness Center, which provides after-care services for disadvantaged elderly and disabled women recovering from cancer surgery received a $125,000 grant, including $50,000 with matching requirements and $50,000 conditioned on strengthening its board of directors by adding additional board members.

Arts Activities - $1,055,000

The Symphony Society of San Antonio and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center were each awarded $250,000 in support of their programs for 2014. Youth Orchestras received $100,000 for its operations. Arts San Antonio was awarded a two-year grant totaling $100,000 with matching requirements designed to expand community support of its programming. Nine additional organizations were awarded grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000.

Child Abuse Prevention Grants - $952,673

Five agencies participating in the Foundation’s Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative were awarded $511,673. This parenting education initiative is a principal effort of the Foundation focused on the Kronkoskys’ charitable purpose of freeing children from abuse and neglect. “These grants bring the total for the year for Precious Minds, New Connections to $3.2 million. The initiative is particularly important because it addresses a root cause issue that has a lasting effect on the children touched by the work of the educators. The classes are open to everyone in the community who wants to improve his or her parenting skills,” said Palmer Moe, managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. “All new parents realize quickly that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and this is a program every parent will find helpful in his and her most important responsibility.”

Precious Minds, New Connections is based on extensive research into early childhood development. The research shows that 80-90% of a person's brain develops by the age of three. The first three years of a person's life are truly the most formative years and affect the future potential of every person. It is critical that every parent and caregiver of infants and toddlers has access to the information and tools needed to make their child's first three years as productive and positive as possible. Most parents take on the job without training, usually spending more time preparing for a drivers’ license test.

In addition to Precious Minds, New Connections grants, eight grants were made to agencies active in the area of prevention of child abuse. Among those recipients, CASA of San Antonio was awarded $125,000 for program operations and St. PJ’s Children’s Home was awarded $75,000 in support of its work with abused and neglected children.

Elderly - $875,000

Eight grants were made to organizations providing services to the elderly. Hill Country Daily Bread of Boerne, Texas was awarded $250,000 to help fund a new campus that will house its case management and other programs for families of the working poor in the Boerne area. Rainbow Senior Center, which operates Kronkosky Place in Boerne, was awarded $150,000 for its 2014 operations, including Meals on Wheels, congregate meals and activities at Kronkosky Place and its new Home-Health Closet program providing refurbished medical equipment to needy persons. The Center serves 2,000 seniors annually. The Silver Sage Corral Senior Activity Center in Bandera was awarded $110,000 for its nutrition and other services provided to its area seniors. Seraphic Sisters, Inc. was provided a matching grant in support of its capital improvements campaign for its nursing home facility serving indigent seniors.

Character Development of Youth - $735,000

Boys and Girls Clubs in Comfort was awarded one of the largest grants in this funding period, a $500,000 last-dollars grant in support of a $1.9 million club house facility for use in its program serving youth in Comfort, the principal youth serving activity in the community. Other organizations and projects of groups serving youth were awarded grants ranging from $25,000 to $60,000. These groups all have well-organized programs and curricula that focus on character development of the young persons they serve.

Disabled - $520,000

Ten organizations serving disabled persons received grants. The Arc of San Antonio was awarded $150,000 for its day habilitation programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Other grants were made in support of agencies focused on Spina Bifida, blindness, mental illness, physical handicaps and family education regarding broad services availability.

Museums - $305,000

Four museums were provided grants in support of operations, including the Witte Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Children’s Museum and Bandera’s Frontier Times Museum.

Parks - $300,000

The San Antonio River Foundation was awarded a $250,000 grant with $1 for $1 matching requirements to help fund Confluence Park to be located within the Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio Riverwalk. Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas received a $50,000 matching grant in support of establishing garden parks in the San Antonio area.

Other Charitable Areas of Grants - $295,000

  • Protection of Natural Areas (Cibolo Nature Area) $ 250,000
  • Libraries $ 45,000

The mission of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is to produce profound good that is tangible and measurable in Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties in Texas by implementing the Kronkoskys’ charitable purposes. General areas of interest for the Foundation are outlined in its Program Guidelines which  may be found on the Foundation’s website at

The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation was established by Albert and Bessie Mae Kronkosky with a trust agreement in January 1991 and was funded in August 1997. The Kronkosky family presence in Texas dates back to the 1860s when they moved into the New Braunfels area. Over the years, the family became a significant shareholder in Merck stock and they involved themselves in a number of successful local business ventures, mainly the Gebhardt Chili Powder Company and the San Antonio Drug Company.