The Pittsburgh Foundation

Frank and Athena Sarris Endowment Fund

Established: 5/24/2012

Frank Sarris brought joy to the world as the "Candy Man" of Sarris Candies, the founder of the chocolate factory that continues to blend delicious chocolates and ice cream on a long block of Canonsburg, Pa., his hometown. He touched many people through the years with a twinkle in his eye and a chocolate in his pocket.

Frank passed away in 2010, but his memory lives on in so many ways. The Sarris family's generous history of philanthropic giving in the region has brought about the Phipps Conservatory's Frank Sarris Orchid Room, a new 33,000 square-foot library in Canonsburg that bears his name and the Frank FSarris Transplant Clinic of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute of UPMC.

Frank's successful kidney transplant in 2002 at the Starzl Institute made an indelible impression on Frank's wife, Athena, who spent many long hours there while her husband was receiving treatment. A nurturing woman and fabulous cook in her own right, Athena saw the need for a café at the clinic where families could get a cup of coffee or a snack.

The Athena Sarris UPMC Café Endowment was created by Athena, a designated fund, as a way to support the café and provide complimentary refreshment to families, patients and the guests of The Starzl lnstitute, and Greek cookies too. It is one of two funds at The Foundation in the Sarris family name.

The funds are a way to serve the community, things that always mattered to both Frank and me, says Athena.

"Frank was a giver," she says. "He loved people and they loved him back. He just had that knack with everyone. It is important to do something that reflects that love in some way."

Type of Fund

  • Advised