Anderson Children's Foundation

ACF History

The Irene W. & Guy L. Anderson Children’s Foundation was established in 1970 by Irene Anderson. The trust honored her late husband, Guy Anderson, who prospered in the fields of shellac development, investments, and real estate. With philanthropic intent, Irene Anderson named Robert A. Schlesinger, her esteemed attorney, as trustee of this foundation which they built together during the final decade of her life. Childless herself, Anderson sought to care for the unmet needs of children of every race and creed.

During the 1970s, Anderson Children’s Foundation sponsored special programs in the Palm Springs Unified School District. Irene Anderson focused on gifted children who were being referred to as “the most neglected minority in American education.” Her contribution was The Anderson Talent Program, which included the Anderson Research Program, the Anderson Symphony, the Anderson Singers, and classes designed to help young people discover and develop their gifts.

After Irene Anderson passed away in 1980, Anderson Children's Foundation carried on her legacy of nurturing the aptitudes of all children. In 1982, ACF established and supported a nonprofit organization named Wilde Woode Children’s Center. After-school programs, summer programs, and Wee Wilde Woode preschool provided unique curriculum and field trips encouraging interests and abilities.

In 1992, William Schlesinger became trustee. Under his leadership ACF grew in value and shifted focus to giving grants to diverse nonprofit organizations throughout the Coachella Valley. Rita Grazdan managed the office until 2010. Bob Worswick and Jane Mills, both with extensive experience in the field of education, collaborated as administrators of ACF's grant program for 25 years.

Diane Schlesinger began to serve as trustee in 2012. Brianna Uhlhorn became director of grants and media in 2018. Under their guidance, ACF continues the legacy of Irene Anderson for the purpose of enhancing lives of children in the Coachella Valley.