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Sands Family To Donate $61 Million To The Community Foundation

The Rochester Area Community Foundation has received the largest gift in its 44 year history--a donation of $61 million from the Sands family, which runs Constellation Brands.

The contribution from brothers Richard and Rob Sands and their mother, Mickey, have established the Sands Family Supporting Foundation at the Community Foundation to expand the family’s philanthropic legacy and to perpetuate it through future generations of their family.

“We are truly honored to assist the Sands family with their legacy of local, high-impact giving. This is great news for the Rochester region,” said Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

“We are excited to create another platform for future Sands family generations to participate, learn, and continue to support the Rochester community,” said Richard Sands, chairman of the board of Constellation Brands. “The Sands Family Supporting Foundation adds a third pillar to our philanthropic enterprise, further enabling us to take a strategic, long-term approach to how we can benefit the community in a sustainable way.”

The Sands Family Supporting Foundation will operate under the auspices of the Community Foundation with a board of directors overseeing and approving all grants. This board includes Sands family representatives Richard and Robert Sands and their niece, Abigail “Abby” Bennett, along with Community Foundation representatives José Coronas, Tom Richards, James Brush, and Leonard.

The Community Foundation will announce the Supporting Foundation’s grant opportunity, criteria, application process and deadline on April 1.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.