Enrichmond Foundation’s status is unclear

The nonprofit has been an umbrella for some 85 volunteer organizations

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 6/30/2022, 6 p.m.
A 32-year-old foundation that was created to support the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and that is …

A 32-year-old foundation that was created to support the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and that is now the owner of two historic Black cemeteries may have collapsed.

The Free Press has been told that the Enrichmond Foundation’s board has resigned without notice or replacement and that the foundation’s treasury may have been depleted.

A source described the situation as “a real mess.”

J. David Young, the listed chairman of the board, declined to confirm whether he is still serving. “I have no comment at this time” is all Mr. Young would say when reached at the Friends Association for Children, where he serves as executive director.

The listed treasurer, Vicky Steinruck, also declined to clarify the foundation’s status.

The director of administration and finance at the Virginia Association of Counties, Ms. Steinruck only said “I have not been active with the foundation for some time.”

Enrichmond is located in Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom. Its website no longer includes a listing of staff.

The foundation, which dates to 1990, has served as an umbrella nonprofit for at least 85 volunteer organizations that support individual parks and undertake other recreation initiatives.

Since 2017, with the assistance of a state foundation, Enrichmond has taken ownership of the long-neglected Evergreen and East End cemeteries that straddle the Richmond-Henrico County border near Oakwood Cemetery.

The two private cemeteries are the last resting places of thousands of Black people, including such luminaries as businesswoman Maggie L. Walker and fiery newspaper editor, banker and politician John Mitchell Jr.

The foundation has received small amounts of city funding, but largely has been self-supporting and independent in operation.

The foundation appears to have last filed a required financial statement with the Internal Revenue Service in 2019, according to Guidestar, which compiles such reports. The foundation that year reported $1.176 million in revenue, $1.543 million in expenses and a shrunken fund balance of $304,307, or about 50 percent less than in 2018.

John Sydnor, who served 11 years as Enrichmond’s executive director, left the organization last year. He has listed himself on Linkedin as being engaged in fundraising and communications for the Local Initiative Support Corp. Virginia. He could not be reached for comment.