Caroline Lussi receives Generous Act Award

Friday, August 26, 2016

Adirondack Foundation rejoices in the generous acts being performed throughout our region every day. Just as it takes a village to raise our children, it takes a host of generous people, all contributing talent and dollars—often at sacrificial levels and often out of the limelight—to create positive change in the lives of others. Generosity has the power to move mountains for one person and for all.

The recipient of the Generous Act Award is a person or people who have contributed over a lifetime to something greater than themselves in a sustained and significant way, whose efforts have made major differences to charitable organizations or people, and whose philanthropy has not been recognized broadly.

The inaugural recipient of the Generous Act Award is Caroline Lussi.

“I can do something”

For Caroline Lussi, setting is important.

“These mountains were my savior when I was first married and we were working in Wilmington and we had trouble paying the mortgage,” Caroline said.

Despite those difficult early days in the Adirondacks, Caroline would find time to become a 46er.

“That was the beginning of my ability to say, ‘I can do something,’” she said.

Caroline and her husband, Serge, have accomplished a great many things, professionally and athletically. As a volunteer, she has served on local and regional boards. Caroline’s persistent habit of generosity is less well known. Over the years, she has worked with Adirondack Foundation to award 10 significant scholarships to Paul Smith’s College students in honor of her parents, Arthur and Frances Draper. She also endowed a chair in lake ecology and paleocology at Paul Smith’s, a position currently held by Dr. Curt Stager. In 2016 the Lussis established the Caroline & Serge Lussi Field Trip Fund to finance an annual field trip to Washington, D.C., for generations of eighth-grade students at Lake Placid Middle School.

“These are just the good works that Caroline has done using Adirondack Foundation,” said Cali Brooks. “We also know that everyone for miles and miles will benefit from Adirondack Health’s renovated medical center in Lake Placid, and many young NYSEF athletes benefit from Caroline’s generosity.”

“I was very fortunate to have parents who loved the Adirondacks, and always wanted to help people,” Caroline said. “When I was asked in second grade, ‘If you had a quarter, what would you do with it?’ I said, ‘I would save it, because a quarter is not enough to buy anything.’ I was taking my second grade vow to save money. And now that I’m at this age I’m saying, ‘OK, what good can you do with it?’”