Mary Kay Smith Sklarczyk Fund and Smiles Through the Miles


In 2012, the Mary Kay Smith Sklarczyk Fund of the Otsego County Community Foundation was established to provide financial support for helping children and young adults understand and appreciate the greater outdoors and support the awareness and fight against breast cancer. This fund is in memory of Mary Kay, who lost her battle with breast cancer on October 30, 2011. While alive she enjoyed going on daily walks around the family property, doing activities outdoors, and spending time with her family all with her infectious smile on her face.

The Smile Through the Miles Race every July, 4th at the Louis Groen Nature Preserve was started in honor or Mary Kay with net proceeds to benefit the fund and to celebrate the beautiful, caring, loving and smart women that she was. “ I think the best activity the MKSS fund sponsors so far is the field trip for all  8th grade students in Otsego County at the Louis Groen Nature Preserve.  This helps show students what an amazing nature preserve we have right in our backyard in Otsego County.  My mom loved going on walks around the property at the farm.  Some of my girl’s strongest memories are of going for walks with Nana and playing outside with her.   I know my mom would be very proud that we are helping to teach the future generation about enjoying nature.” Stated Stacy Paul, MKSS Fund Advisory member.

For more information about the race and the MKSS Fund of Otsego County Community Foundation please visit:

“The MKSS Fund of the Otsego County Community Foundation is a great example of the unique value a donor advise fund offers for families, they can be engaged and active in grant making while honoring the memory of a loved one. Each grant not only positively impacts the community but is a reminder of that special person. “ noted Dana Bensinger, Executive Director of OCCF.