Dorothy Vanko Endowment to Support Staff Enrichment at LPCA

When the Board of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts asked Director Nadine Duhaime what she'd like for her 25th anniversary with them, she asked for an endowed fund that would honor her mother, Dorothy Vanko, by perpetuating her ideals of continuous self-development, education and experience of a wide range of art forms.  Nadine's wish was made real: The Dorothy J. Vanko Memorial Fund at the Adirondack Foundation will support professional development for the staff at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

"Nadine's leadership has meant two decades of lively and diverse programming at LPCA.  She has made this place a true center for the arts.  We were happy to honor her by creating a lasting memorial to her mother, one that encourages enrichment for the staff," said Board President Nancy Rosenthal.

Dorothy, affectionately known as "Dot," was born at the beginning of the Great Depression in Johnson City, NY, on January 14, 1930. She had an avid appetite for learning and a deep desire to further her education. The economic times and prevailing thought limited career opportunities for women to teaching, nursing and secretarial science. Women rarely attended college. Her parents sacrificed so she could attend Alfred University, majoring in Secretarial Science. She was a life-long student in a variety of subjects, recording her musings in shorthand. After her death on December 27, 2010, her family found countless notebooks written in baffling symbols. These documents are carefully stored, pending the day their mysteries can be revealed through stenographic translation.

Dot and her husband of 58 years, Michael Vanko, a Ph.D. biochemist, were the proud parents of Nadine Duhaime and Lauren Vanko and granddaughters Kyra Duhaime and Elyssa Oberg. Dorothy and her husband created a nurturing environment of learning, inquiry and self improvement for them.  Dorothy frequently took her young daughters to see performances of the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Nadine went on to graduate from SUNY at Purchase with a major in dance. Lauren became an artist and graphic designer, graduating from Williams College with a major in art history and Yale University with a MA degree in art and graphic design.

When her children were grown, Dorothy finally had the opportunity to focus on her own interests. Traveling with her husband throughout Europe and the United States, she marveled at the diverse cultures, painting, sculpture and other art forms around the world. Dorothy took up photography and revealed a keen eye as she recorded the arts and the beauty of nature wherever she went. She devoted many years to the arts of cooking, sewing and quilting with absolute adherence to her own high standard of perfection. She became entranced by oriental cultures, and, after years of study, she taught Tai Chi. Dorothy loved to be around water and enjoyed boating in the Adirondacks with her family.

Dorothy J. Vanko Memorial Fund Donation