A Legacy for the Arts

Sybil A. Pickett and her family

Back row: Sybil P. Veeder. Front row, from left: Cynthia P. Charles, Sybil Alger Pickett, Winston H. Pickett.

The Sybil A. Pickett Fund perpetuates a mother's passion for the arts, theater and music.

Major milestones of Sybil Pickett's life centered around Lake Placid: she received her marriage proposal on a rock in the AuSable River, and she is buried with her husband, Winston Pickett, and parents, Muriel and Martin Alger, in the St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery.

Sybil was born on the 4th of July, so the Lake Placid fireworks had special meaning for her family, at least one of whom believed the spectacle was for mom's birthday. Having spent her entire summers and some winter vacations in Lake Placid from a very young age, she continued the tradition by bringing her own three children to Lake Placid every year. Her daughter, Sybil P. Veeder, remembers taking the train from Grand Central to switch near Lake Clear and her daughter, Cynthia P. Charles, also remembers the nine-and-a-half-hour road trip on Route 9, before the New York State Thruway and Route 87 Northway were opened, to reach their Adirondack home.

"My mother enjoyed being part of the community here," Mrs. Veeder said.  "She was funny, a great dancer, and an unbelievable bridge player. She was always interested in music, the theater, and the arts, and had a strong link to the Center for the Arts from the moment it was founded."

When Mrs. Pickett died in 2007, her daughters elected to start a fund in her name at Adirondack Foundation, due in part to Sybil Veeder's knowledge about community foundations. The Sybil A. Pickett Fund was built from gifts made by friends and family and through the investment of funds she left to be distributed for charitable purposes.

"Most people don't realize they can leave a legacy for very little money," said Mrs. Veeder. "You can start a fund and build it up over time then see the wonderful things the money does for the community. The Sybil A. Pickett Fund is a source of pride for the whole family."

The Sybil A. Pickett Fund has already supported the Adirondack Art Chairs Exhibition at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Lake Placid Elementary School's playground project, Paw Print Park, and renovations to the bandshell in Mid's Park on the shore of Mirror Lake, where the Sinfonietta performs every summer. We hope the family will continue to take pride in the community-spirited work this fund is helping to achieve.