New Fund Supports Dementia Education and Advocacy in Region

August 16, 2021

The Community Giving Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of a new community impact fund in partnership with Dementia Friendly Susquehanna Valley (DFSV), a group whose mission is to bring awareness to the region about dementia through education, advocacy, and volunteer engagement in order to better support those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Marianne Kreisher and Marissa Marshall of Kreisher Marshall & Associates are the only certified elder law attorneys in Columbia and Montour Counties. They continue to dedicate themselves to the elder law profession, but always felt a desire to offer more to their clients and community. After becoming a Life Care Planning Law Firm, they were able to bring in social workers as elder care coordinators to better assist clients with care planning. They also partnered with Embodied Labs, a virtual reality platform that gives community members the ability to experience life in someone else’s shoes. Through all these progressions and experiences with clients and caregivers, Kreisher and Marshall recognized a need for community-wide education.

In early 2020, the staff of Kreisher Marshall & Associates became Dementia Champions through Dementia Friends Pennsylvania and spearheaded the Dementia Friendly Susquehanna Valley initiative in our region alongside a group of community leaders.

“Education and awareness are the foundation to making our region more dementia friendly. It’s our hope that by establishing this fund for DFSV, we will be able to provide dementia awareness and specialized programs to youth, first responders, financial institutions, and service industries,” explains Marshall.

DFSV’s vision is to make the Susquehanna Valley region a place where those living with dementia and their loved ones feel supported, understood, and included as valued members of our community. This new non-endowed fund will support projects and activities that promote this vision across Columbia, Lower-Luzerne, Montour, and Northumberland Counties.

Elaine Spicher, elder care coordinator, explains, “As a social worker, I have seen the impact of dementia on individuals, their families, and the community at large. We hope to utilize this new fund to hire experts in the field of dementia to provide training and education to various sectors in our community, finding more ways for our region to grow as dementia friendly.”

Contributions can be made to the Dementia Friendly Susquehanna Valley Fund online here, or mail to the Community Giving Foundation, Attn: Dementia Friendly Susquehanna Valley Fund, 725 West Front Street, Berwick PA 18603. You can tell your community giving story by giving to a fund at the Foundation. It’s a wonderful way to honor a person or business or carry on the memory of someone important to you. Leave your own legacy of giving.

The Community Giving Foundation manages over 300 charitable funds and makes grant investments throughout the region to improve the quality of life in the Central Susquehanna area.