As a young girl, Marilyn Augur was greatly influenced by her grandfather, Clyde Palmer, who set up a foundation benefiting education, specifically, in the area of reading phonetically. Having attended school only through the 8th grade, his interest was in reading. He commissioned Ullin Leavell of the University of Virginia to write reading books for grades 1-12. They were called the Golden Rule Readers. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This was also the motto or, as we would say today, the vision statement for his foundation and indeed for his life. His foundation helped individuals become literate and in his lifetime he was able to see the impact his foundation had on those in Texarkana, Texas and beyond.
When Marilyn’s Grandfather died, her Grandmother chose to pay out the remaining corpus of the foundation. A lump sum grant of $50,000 was given to Texarkana College toward the construction of a new library, named The Palmer Memorial Library. Today the library is shared by both Texarkana College and East Texas State College. Both of these events, the beginning and the end of the foundation, impacted Marilyn’s life. She had seen the benefit the foundation brought to her grandparents’ community and to her grandfather. Marilyn hoped that one day she might have the opportunity to help individuals in her community. This hope for the foundation was further molded as she taught Bible Study with a close friend and fellow Trustee, Elizabeth Turner, at St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas. She and Litty envisioned being able to help those who are truly needy.
In October of 1991, Marilyn began the process of setting up The Marilyn Augur Family Foundation, which was fully funded in October of 1995. Oldest daughter Margaret Hancock, friend and lawyer P. Mike McCullough, and Litty aided her in this process. These four persons made up the first Board of Trustees and they formulated the mission statement for the Foundation. Today the Marilyn Augur Family Foundation funds nonprofits which provide services for those who are economically, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually needy as it seeks to accomplish the mission stated in Matthew 25:35-40.
In late 1999 Margaret Hancock resigned as Executive Director and was succeeded by Nancy Roberts who served as Executive Director until 2008. Both Margaret and Nancy Beth continue to serve as Trustees.
In June of 2008, Tracey Frattaroli became the Foundation’s third Executive Director. Prior to joining the Foundation, Tracey was an active community volunteer and a leader in Bible Study Fellowship. She shares the commitment of Marilyn and the Trustees to support projects that solve the root cause of social problems, breaking the cycle of poverty and restoring dignity to the lives of individuals.