Remembering Amy Hagedorn


“Giving voice to people who were not heard from before is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward”

This past September, Riis Settlement said goodbye to one of its longtime supporters, Ms. Amy Hagedorn of the Hagedorn Foundation, who passed away on September 8th 2016, just days before her 80th birthday. Born in 1937, Amelia –Amy- Maiello Hagedorn was an inspirational advocate, humanitarian and champion of education and supporting opportunities. She earned an MSED from Baruch College of the City University of New York in 1973 and spent many years teaching preschool. Her passion for education and her experience with children was perhaps the reason behind her lifetime dedication to helping others, especially children, families and immigrants in need.

Ms. Hagedorn was married to Miracle-Gro founder Horace Hagedorn, and, in 1993, they created the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund at the New York Community Trust.  Since its creation, the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund has given nearly $65,403,917 in grants to more than 400 organizations – one of which was Riis Settlement.  The Hagedorn’s business and philanthropic philosophy was deeply rooted in a sense of responsibility to help others who were in need.

After Horace Hagedorn’s passing in 2005, a newly formed foundation under the leadership of Amy Hagedorn was created, under the name the Hagedorn Foundation. In addition to supporting non-profit organizations, the foundation provided scholarships to students at Baruch College of the City University of New York, as well as Queens College and SUNY Old Westbury.  Many years ago, Riis Settlement became a host site for the Baruch Hagedorn Scholarship interns and to-date has hosted thirteen interns in its development and communications department.

Ms. Hagedorn’s grace, generosity and support will forever serve as a legacy of her public service, and at Riis Settlement we are profoundly grateful to have known her and called her a friend. Her ongoing support of the organization helped sustain the organization in its work and helped give many families and children in the Queensbridge area a chance for a better future. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones. She had a genuine and graceful philanthropic essence, and she will be greatly missed.

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