Rochester Area Community Foundation Receives $61 Million

Rochester Area Community Foundation Receives $61 Million

The Rochester Area Community Foundation in upstate New York has announced contributions totaling $61 million from Richard and Rob Sands and their mother, Mickey, to establish the Sands Family Supporting Foundation.

The supporting foundation will operate under the umbrella of RACF, with all grants overseen and approved by a board of directors that includes the Sands brothers and their niece, Abigail Bennett, as well as representatives from the community foundation. The largest gift in RACF's 44-year history will enable the family — which established Constellation Brands, Inc. and built it into a leading beer, wine, and spirits company — to enhance their local giving in the areas of the arts, education, and health, while also involving the next and future generations of the family in building its philanthropic legacy.

"We are excited to create another platform for future Sands family generations to participate, learn, and continue to support the Rochester community. The Sands Family Supporting Foundation adds a third pillar to our philanthropic enterprise," said Constellation Brands board chair Richard Sands — a reference to the Sands Family Foundation and Constellation's corporate giving — "further enabling us to take a strategic, long-term approach to how we can benefit the community in a sustainable way."

"When our father founded Constellation Brands seventy years ago, he knew that our business would only be successful if we could also make a positive and lasting difference in our local community," said Rob Sands, who serves as the company's president and CEO. "He was fond of saying, 'You can't save the world, but you can take care of your own community'. We commit to being actively involved in order to make our financial contributions more impactful and, when appropriate, to introduce more business-like strategic and financial planning, evaluation, and reporting."

"Gift From the Sands Family Is Largest in History of Rochester Area Community Foundation." Rochester Area Community Foundation Press Release 02/09/2016.