Adie Kirby Davis Kirby Katherine Kirby

Adie Kirby

Dave Kirby

Katherine Kirby


The Polk County Community Foundation is honored to carry out the charitable wishes of Mr. & Mrs. Davis G. Kirby and Katherine Kirby in perpetuity. The annual awards and grants from the Fund reflect the clear intent of the Kirby family as they crafted a set of endowment funds to support the organizations and activities that meant so much to them during their years in Tryon. In 1992, the Kirby family turned to the Community Foundation seeking tools they could use to maximize and focus the impact of their charitable giving. As a result, the anonymous Tryon Area Endowment Fund was created, giving the Foundation and beneficiary organizations specific mandates for distributing and using the funds. Per the Kirbys' instructions, the fund was renamed in 2003 to celebrate the generosity of its donors and their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our community for generations to come. The Kirby family's legacy provides annual support to organizations and causes close to Katherine, Adie, and Dave's hearts. Their philanthropy continues to make a meaningful difference in Polk County, touching the lives of countless members of our community, just as they had envisioned.



Mr. & Mrs. Davis G. Kirby and Katherine Kirby started making contributions to the Polk County Community Foundation in 1992 to create what has become the Kirby Endowment Fund. Before Dave's death in 2002, he preferred to remain anonymous so he named this group of funds the Tryon Area Endowment Fund. The Kirby Endowment Fund is comprised of more than 25 different endowment funds, each with its own criteria for distribution. This booklet is one of the many charitable ideas of the Kirby Family and has its own fund to support its publication. The Kirby family named many specific organizations to benefit from their charitable giving in perpetuity and created some other funds which may be used by any organization to accomplish the specified purposes of the funds. All of the funds are described in this booklet. Dave and Adie Kirby moved to Tryon from Winnetka, Illinois in 1976. They were both active in the community and were invited to join the Second Wind Hall of Fame in 1981.

Dave and Adie's three daughters chose the following quote from a seventeen-year-old Dave to remember their father, "I would like to do the world some good, be helpful to it not so that my name can live, but so that I can die peacefully."

Katherine Kirby enjoyed living in Tryon for many decades before moving to Needham, Massachusetts. She was an honored member of the Tryon Garden Club and was invited to join the Second Wind Hall of Fame in 1987. Her home in New England had many reminders of her favorite places, people, and organizations in Polk County. Katherine honored her mother, also a former Tryon resident, by creating a park bearing her name, Greene Corner, and donating it to our community. Katherine passed away in 2008 at the age of 98.


The following organizations receive special noncompetitive Kirby Endowment Fund grants:

  • Congregational Church of Tryon
  • Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE)
  • Lanier Library
  • Polk County Community Foundation
  • Polk County Rescue Squad
  • St. Luke's Hospital
  • St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary
  • Tryon Concert Association
  • Tryon Fine Arts Center
  • Tryon Garden Club
  • Tryon Little Theater





More information about the Kirby family and the history behind the Kirby Endowment Fund may be  found in the Directory of Kirby Endowment Funds, Competitive Grant Funds and Donor Information.