2015 Civic Service Award Dinner honors Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation

According to Henry Bloch, his father used to frequently say, “When you have three meals a day, it’s time to help the next person.” 

It is this mindset that made the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation an obvious choice to receive Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s Civic Service Award at the school’s upcoming dinner on Sunday, March 29. 
In its effort to make Kansas City a top-tier city, the Foundation has — for the last several years — generously supported HBHA, which it sees as the cornerstone of a strong Jewish community. Henry Bloch took the opportunity to visit with HBHA students earlier this year, and fully supports the school’s social justice project, which empowers Upper School students to advocate for a better Kansas City while they work together to repair the world. 

“HBHA feels it is quite fitting to present this evening’s Civic Service Award to the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation. We align with Henry Bloch’s belief that a strong Jewish community is necessary for Kansas City to take its place among the first-class cities of the world. HBHA will continue to educate and develop the Jewish leaders of tomorrow, and we feel fortunate to have the Bloch Family Foundation as a supporting partner,” said Howard M Haas, HBHA Head of School. 

Marion and Henry Bloch were at the forefront of many civic and philanthropic initiatives in Greater Kansas City. However, family remained the central focus of their lives. Marion, of blessed memory, and Henry Bloch were deeply devoted to each other and to their four children: Bob, Tom, Mary Jo and Liz.

“Marion made sure that our personal lives revolved around the family. No one should take their family for granted,” Henry said. 

In addition to creating a strong family unit, the Blochs’ legacy includes generous support of a number of local institutions, with a particular focus on The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. These three organizations continue on as legacy organizations of the Foundation. 

In 2011, the couple formed the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, which is now one of the largest family foundations in the region. In an effort to build on Marion and Henry’s vision and values to improve the quality of life in their hometown, the Foundation supports efforts in the areas of post-secondary business and entrepreneurship education, healthcare, social services, education for low-income, underserved youth, visual and performing arts and Jewish organizations — all within the greater Kansas City area.  

“True success is not measured by what you get, but by what you give back,” Henry said. 

Today, thanks to the Foundation, residents of Kansas City and beyond have:
the opportunity to enjoy the unique architecture of the Bloch Building, as well as the beautiful art that it encompasses at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, access to top-tier business management and leadership education at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management, set within the Marion H. Bloch Terrace and Park, a gift to UMKC from Marion’s children to honor their mother, and access to excellent healthcare and healthcare education through the Marion H. Bloch Chair in Gastroenterology and Medicine at Saint Luke’s Hospital, and the Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute. 

“Designating areas of focus has allowed the Foundation’s directors to concentrate meaningful support to causes that are personal to Marion and Henry,” said David Miles, president of the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation.

Today, it is obvious that each child of Marion and Henry Bloch — having learned from the examples set by their parents — is dedicated to their family, and possesses a strong commitment to their community. 

The purpose of the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation is to create and support transformative change in Kansas City,” said son Tom Bloch. “Our parents taught us how a family, and even a single person can change our city, and indeed the world.”

“Thanks to their vision, determination and humanitarianism, Marion and Henry Bloch have achieved both success and significance. Through their family Foundation, this selfless, decent and loving couple will have a lasting impact on generations to come,” Miles said.

For more information about HBHA and the Civic Service Award Dinner, or to purchase tickets for the event, go to www.hbha.edu, and click on Seeding the Future. Or contact Kerry Cosner, director of development at HBHA, 913-327-8156 or kcosner@hbha.edu. 

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