Paul Lessard, President
Paul Lessard is the founding president of the High Point Community Foundation, established in 1998. Since this time the Foundation has given $4 million in unrestricted grants and $37 million in Donor Advised Fund grants.
Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and History at High Point College, where he attended on a soccer and academic scholarship. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Along with the Carnegie Hero Medal awarded for saving an elderly woman from drowning in a submerged car, Paul received the Congressional Commendation for heroism in 1994. He was awarded the key to the city of High Point and Resolution of Commendation for Heroism in 1993. He was selected Community Hero Olympic Torch Bearer for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He was named Polar Heart Monitor Heart to Believe Success Story Award Winner 1998. He was awarded the High Point Chamber of Commerce Business Advocate of the Year Award in 2002. He received the inaugural Dr. Kennedy Humanitarian of the Year Award for advocating for children in 2004.
A few words from our president:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the High Point Community Foundation website. We hope this site will be an informative, educational and interactive resource for you and your family. We live in a very unique era in which technology seems to change daily, and the internet specifically has become one of the most frequented modes of introduction and communication. While community foundations can be traced all the way back to the early 1900’s we have grown dramatically in recent years and the internet will be another stimulus for even more exponential growth. While we are confident that this venue will open up many new opportunities to connect with and serve you, we want you to know that establishing and maintaining close personal relationships with our donors will always be a priority for all of us here at the High Point Community Foundation.
We consider the work that we do at the Community Foundation to be the perpetuation of a financial and spiritual legacy that will impact our community forever. We move in the spirit of the old Arabic proverb which said that true civilization has arrived when a man, or a woman, is willing to plant a tree whose shade he or she will not live to enjoy. Like the planter of the tree, we are planting seeds that will enhance the quality of life for our generation and those that will follow us. It is with this spirit that we seek to raise an endowment, develop funds, grant worthwhile projects and meet the unmet needs of our community.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to learn about our foundation. We look forward to working with you to create your vision of philanthropy.