The Community Endowment of Lexington promotes a spirit of philanthropic giving to help enhance the quality of life for all Lexington citizens now and in the future. We are a permanent grantmaking source of funding to support our community needs and opportunities, and provide ways for donors to give back or leave a legacy to our community. 

The Community Endowment of Lexington supports programs and services that help make life healthier and more enjoyable for all members of the community in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, ecological well-being, and community building. It encourages grant applications from nonprofit organizations and public agencies that bring innovative thinking to big issues and small ones.

Lexington Community Board

A group of local Lexington residents form the CEL Community Board. These local residents represent the different demographics of our town, and together raise the funds for grantmaking in Lexington and decide on the most impactful grants for our community. 

Leslie Zales has a background in business marketing at American Express Co. and EcoSmart Sustainable Building Co. She has leadership roles on multiple PTA/PTO boards, including past Chair of the PTA/O Presidents Council, and was instrumental in the genesis of the Lexington Community Center. She is an active volunteer in local advocate of local nonprofits and businesses. Leslie lives in Lexington with her husband, three daughters and black lab.

Pauline Benninga has a background in product management with over a decade of experience in enterprise and consumer software. Pauline is interested in using technology to provide solutions to socioeconomic problems and in arts programs with a social mission. Pauline enjoys running, writing, and sewing. She holds a B. SC from MIT. She lives in Lexington with her husband and three children. 

Nancy Adler is a retired department manager at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Once retired, she became a full-time Lexington volunteer, and currently chairs the Council on Aging. In addition, she is a longtime Town Meeting Member, was an organizer for the Lexington League of Women Voters Community Conversations, a liaison to the Community Task Force, and a member of the LWV First Fridays Committee. Nancy has a BA degree from U of Penn and an MBA from Boston University. 

Ruth is the founder and principal of The Cherneff Group, a consulting firm, which services profit and nonprofit organizations and is focused on executive development, team effectiveness, and organizational change. She has an MBA from Wharton School of Management. Ruth worked at Monitor Group for 16 years where she had a variety of client facing and internal management roles. Prior to that, she worked at Au Bon Pain for 9 years where she held a variety of management roles. Her passion is working with leaders on the intersection of the business problems and interpersonal dynamic issues. Ruth lives in Lexington with her husband and two daughters and volunteers as much as possible, in the communities that she is a part of. 

Passionate about nonprofit capacity building and philanthropy, Stephanie holds a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University and during the course of her career has worked in the charitable, public, and nonprofit sectors. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Neighbor Brigade, a Massachusetts nonprofit that establishes and mobilizes community-based networks of volunteers that provide services for fellow residents facing sudden crises. Other past employers include Chase Manhattan Bank's Corporate Philanthropy Division, Massachusetts' Department of Social Services, and Minuteman Senior Services. Stephanie is a co-founder of the Community Endowment of Lexington, and she served as the initial CEL Community Board Chair. Stephanie is a returnee to Lexington, where she and her husband are now raising their four daughters. She is a graduate of Community Nursery School, Estabrook, Diamond, and Lexington High School. 

Lisah Rhodes has a background in business and education holding an MBA and MEd with experience in both private and public sectors and a lifelong commitment to voluntarism. Lisah is experienced in nonprofit finance, management and community development in her volunteer work with The Junior League of Boston (Treasurer-Elect, Treasurer), MFA Museum Council, Lexington Town Meeting, Lexington Recreation Committee, Lexington Education Foundation, Lexington Community Center Task Force and League of Women Voters. Lisah lives in Lexington with her husband and two sons and works at Lexington Public Schools as a system-wide elementary Instructional Technology Specialist and has consulted as a coach with the Harvard Graduate School of Education World Wide/Project Zero consortium. Lisah loves spending time in her garden, enjoying the birds and chipmunks, is active in books groups, and a slave to her Fitbit.
With a background in User Experience Research and Design, Lisa Spitz is passionate about leveraging the power of design thinking to improve the lives of individuals. Her prior work experience spans both corporate and non-profit worlds, driving innovation from a human-centered design perspective. She has presented on the topics of website accessibility, universal design, and learning. Lisa holds a M.Des. in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Psychology and Graphic Arts from Regis College. Lisa lives in Lexington with her husband and two young children. She has served 2 years on the LexFUN board and was co-planner of a Women in Entrepreneurship event at Cambridge Savings Bank.
Hua Wang is on the faculty at Boston University. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Wang’s professional experiences have spanned academia, government and industry. He was a research scientist with United Technologies Research Center, a faculty member with Duke University, and a program manager with U.S. Army Research Office. He is a recipient of various professional awards and the author of numerous technical publications. He has been very active in serving his profession and community. Currently he is chairing the Community Task Force of Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL). He lives in Lexington with his wife and two children.

Nancy White and her husband Chris have lived in Lexington for thirteen years. They have two sons, Sam (16) who attends Lexington High School and Max (14) who attends Jonas Clarke Middle School. Nancy is a CPA and works three days a week as a Tax Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Boston. She advises public and private corporations on income taxation and is the Talent Development Leader for the 600 person Northeast Tax Practice. 

Nancy is currently an Advisory Board Member for the Lexington Education Foundation where she formerly was a Board Member for six years and Vice President of the School Partnership Team for three years. She has served as Treasurer and Vice President of the PTA at Bridge Elementary School and as Vice President of the PTA at Jonas Clarke Middle School. The Whites spend the long cold New England winters skiing at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH and summers sailing at the Scituate Harbor Yacht Club in Scituate, Massachusetts. 

Nancy received her BA in mathematics at Connecticut College and her MBA from Columbia Business School.

Hannah Cutler is a junior at Lexington High School. She first became interested in nonprofits after completing the Youth in Philanthropy program through the Foundation for MetroWest. This summer she interned at Meadowbrook School, a nonprofit school, in the communications office. She hopes to start a Youth in Philanthropy like club this year at the high school to educate others on the importance of nonprofits. Her hope is to make a difference in Lexington while being a part of the Community Endowment of Lexington.


Pauline and Amos Benninga
Jean and Neal Birnberg
Lisa and Jeff Boehm
Elizabeth and Roger Borghesani
Elizabeth and Don Briggs
Suzanne and John Bruno
Carl and Suzie Byers
Chinese American Association of Lexington
Ciccolo Family Foundation
Christina and Tim Cohen
Constance and Lewis Counts
Judith and David Craver
Susan Culman
Finnegan Development
Jane and Ric Fulop
Anne and Babak Ghayour
Kimberly and Michael Gruber
Kimya and Mike Harris
Elaine M. Ashton and Jarkko J. Hietaniemi
Trisha and Mike Kennealy
Bob and Mary Etta King
Margaret Counts-Klebe and Skott Klebe
Florence Koplow
Anne Kubik and Mike Krupka

Stephanie and David Lawrence
Lexx Restaurant
Yuci Ma
Leslie and Colin Masson
Joy and Duncan McCallum
Stephanie and Michael Mitzenmacher
The Moodys
George and Beth Murnaghan
Corinne and Tim Noyes
Allison Mnookin and Cory Olcott
Evelyn and David Peterman
Cecilia and Jeff Porter
Sara and Greg Poulos
Gretchen and Christopher Reisig
The Sheth Family
Victoria and Don Sullivan
Yike Tang
Yolanda and Brooks Taylor
Donna and Robert Vigoda
The Walsh Family
Nancy and Chris White Foundation
The Yan/Meng Family
Leslie and Sam Zales
The Zhu Family
Anonymous (3)

Community Endowment of Lexington FAQ's

The Community Endowment of Lexington was established in 2013, by Lexington residents, as an initiative to build a permanent endowment to strengthen our community. The Fund supports programs and services that help make life healthier and more enjoyable for all members of the community in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, ecological well-being and community building.

The Community Endowment of Lexington is an endowed fund of the Foundation for MetroWest. As an endowed fund, it is a permanent, steady source of funding for the town of Lexington. Each year, spending is limited to a designated percentage of the fund, leaving the rest to build for the future.
The Endowment supports organizations that are working to create solutions for current needs and implementing new ideas that will improve Lexington now, and in the future. It was established to raise and distribute financial support to fund local programs and projects that will strengthen and improve the town and its residents. It encourages grant applications from nonprofit organizations and public agencies that bring innovative thinking to big issues and small ones.
The Community Endowment of Lexington has embarked on a campaign to raise funds to build an endowed fund. This campaign reaches out to Lexington residents to become founding members of the Endowment. The Endowment will be professionally invested and managed by Foundation for MetroWest. The Foundation will also be responsible for fund administration and distributions recommended by the Community Endowment of Lexington Community Board.
You may make a gift to the Community Endowment of Lexington by check, stock, mutual fund or real estate, or through a donor advised fund or private foundation. The staff at Foundation for MetroWest can work with you and your financial adviser to review various planned giving options. All gifts qualify for the maximum tax benefit offered.