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About Us

Picture taken at First Place Food Pantry

Enhancing the Quality of Life in Miami County, Ohio

The Paul G. Duke Foundation, founded in 1983, awards grants to nonprofit organizations in the Miami County area to help residents in need of assistance or an opportunity to better themselves, their families, or their community. Its mission, to be a catalyst to enhance the quality of life in the Miami County area, remains strong today.

Overseen by five community leaders passionate about strengthening the Miami County region, the Foundation awards grants for programs and projects focused on social services, education, health, and civic and community activities. The Foundation encourages applications that leverage matching support or funding from other donors.

Meet the Board of Trustees

Headshot of Racye T. Robinson

Rayce T. Robinson, President

A resident of Plain City, Rayce is the great-grandson of Paul G. Duke and grandson of Patricia Duke Robinson. He has been a Board of Trustee member since July 2017, becoming President in 2022.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Foundation board?

My great-grandfather always said, “Family is most important.” To him, “family” meant more than just immediate family, as he believed it more broadly encompasses those around us, specifically everyone in and around Miami County. 

His passion for helping those in need radiated through our previous leaders in my grandmother, Patricia Duke Robinson, as well as most recently Linda Daniel. I am honored and humbled with the opportunity to continue their legacies of leading and serving in new and innovative ways for the future of our “family.” 

The Foundation has a long history of collaboration and engagement between those who want to serve those in need. Being a part of that and having an opportunity to continue to build upon a strong family legacy is something that I am proudest of.

What fuels your passion for nonprofit work?

Nonprofit work gives you something intrinsically that you cannot duplicate through other avenues. It is one thing to give financially to someone or something, but to be actively involved and see the work that others do to positively impact those around them without expecting anything in return is indescribable. It pulls from the heart, and that is what I love most.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, my wife and I enjoy traveling with our three kids. I also enjoy coaching our kids' sports teams and doing community-based projects that positively impact the youth and underserved of Plain City.

In 2019, we completed a fundraising project that brought state-of-the-art field turf to the Jonathan Alder Local Schools athletic complex, and more recently, we have been redeveloping many of the historic downtown buildings in Plain City in an effort to build a more collaborative atmosphere where people will want to come and gather together.

Headshot of Linda A. Daniel

Linda A. Daniel, Past President and Community Liaison

Linda is a resident of Troy and has been a part of the Foundation board since January 2013.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Foundation board

I am proud to be part of the Duke/Robinson family philanthropic legacy of support for local non-profit organizations that provide critical, needed services to residents of Miami County.   It is an honor … it is a commitment … it is a responsibility.   

What fuels your passion for nonprofit work?

Being part of the Duke Foundation is a great opportunity to make a true difference in people’s lives and in the quality of life in the community. In addition, working with the Paul G. Duke Academy for Community Leadership is especially meaningful as it provides leadership training, strategic planning, boardmanship, and organization effectiveness learning for nonprofit leaders. The Academy’s 20-year impact on the local nonprofits and their success has been profound.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

I love to spend time with family, travel, read, work, and VOLUNTEER! 

Headshot of William J. McGraw the third

William J. McGraw, III, Vice President

A resident of Dublin, William has been on the board since March 2013.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Foundation board? 

Keeping alive the legacy of Paul Duke by working with committed and caring board members in partnership with The Columbus Foundation to better Miami County area residents and nonprofits.

What fuels your passion for nonprofit work?

It is a vital part of my DNA to give of my time to organizations that are committed to enhancing the quality of life for others, particularly the less fortunate among us. 

What do you love to do in your spare time? 

Golf, walk, swim, and read.

Headshot of Deborah Miller

Deborah Miller, Secretary/Treasurer

A resident of West Milton, she joined the board in May 2019.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Foundation board?

I enjoy learning about different organizations, what good work is being done in our community and hearing success stories of the impact being made. I also enjoy working with other board members of the Duke Foundation. I appreciate their thoughtfulness and intentionality in making decisions.

What fuels your passion for nonprofit work?

I believe we all have a responsibility to serve in some capacity. We all need help at some time in our life, and we should be willing to give help when we are in a position to give.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

In one word - grandbabies! That’s my favorite thing. I also enjoy baking and gardening.

Headshot of Wade H. Westfall

Wade H. Westfall, Community Liaison

A resident of Troy, Wade has been on the board since November 2019.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Foundation board?

One of the hallmarks of our community is its generosity, not least of which is the generous legacy of Paul G. Duke.  Through the work of this board, it is heartwarming to see the impact that philanthropic giving can have on our communities.  Having the honor of being on this board means I have the responsibility to ensure that legacy lasts for generations to come.  It is that focus on the future that I enjoy the most about my participation here.

What fuels your passion for nonprofit work?

The vast network of nonprofit organizations that exist in our community that is having a real and impactful difference in people's lives is simply staggering.  These organizations are led by hardworking individuals committed to seeing people thrive.  Our work at the Duke Foundation isn't just making sure these organizations have the dollars they need to do their work, but it's also challenging these organizations to think more broadly, to work more collaboratively and create better solutions for all our residents.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

Outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and spending time with my grandchildren.

The Board appreciates the leadership of past Presidents Paul G. Duke, Patricia Duke Robinson, Ronald B. Scott, and Linda A. Daniel.

Our History

Founded 1983

The Paul G. Duke Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation, was established in 1983. The Foundation carries forward the charitable tradition started by Paul G. Duke, a Miami County businessman and philanthropist. 

A native of Warren County, Mr. Duke came to the Troy, Ohio, area after World War II. He and his son, Richard Duke, operated a sod farm and the Duke Garden Centers in Troy and Piqua. In 1986, the Duke Garden Centers evolved into ChemLawn Corporation, a national lawn and garden service. Prior to its sale to Ecolab, Inc., in 1987, ChemLawn was a coast-to-coast business providing residential and commercial services for lawn, tree, and shrub care.

Headshot of Paul G. Duke

Image of Paul G. Duke

Entry door sign that says

Image of sign at Health Partners Free Clinic

Early Contributions

Mr. Duke generously supported a wide variety of community projects and charitable programs prior to his death in 1991. Most notable was his early contribution to the Ohio Hospice of Miami County, as well as his support for creation of Clear Creek Farm, whose mission is to “provide a safe, structured home environment for youth offering hope and healing.” 

The Next Generation

Mr. Duke transitioned leadership of the Foundation to his daughter, Patricia Duke Robinson. An active community volunteer and advocate for the residents of Miami County, Mrs. Robinson guided the Foundation’s activities for three decades. 

Mrs. Robinson thought carefully, strategically, and with deliberation about the future of the Foundation her father started. She decided to continue it in a way that takes advantage of the local leadership she has nurtured and encouraged, as well as the administrative support available through The Columbus Foundation. 

At Mrs. Robinson's recommendation, the Duke Foundation’s trustee appointment process was changed so that future trustees would be leaders of the Miami County community — not limited to family. In this way, Mrs. Robinson has entrusted her family’s legacy to the broader community, believing that the future trustees’ commitment to the region will ensure that the Duke Foundation continues to improve the lives of children, young people, and families as it has since 1983.

Image of Mr. and Mrs. Robinson smiling, along with their grandson Rayce Robinson smiling.

Image of Mr. and Mrs. Robinson and Rayce Robinson

Image of front of the Partners in Hope building

Image of Partners in Hope Building

The Future

Mrs. Robinson has entrusted stewardship of the Duke Foundation to dedicated leaders from the Miami County community. The trustees look forward both to sustaining the philanthropic legacy created by Paul G. Duke and his daughter and to building on the Foundation’s 40-year history of strategic grantmaking and investment in the region.

Our History

The Paul G. Duke Foundation, a supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation, was established in 1983. The Foundation carries forward the charitable tradition started by Paul G. Duke, a Miami County businessman and philanthropist. 

A native of Warren County, Mr. Duke came to the Troy, Ohio, area after World War II. He and his son, Richard Duke, operated a sod farm and the Duke Garden Centers in Troy and Piqua. In 1986, the Duke Garden Centers evolved into ChemLawn Corporation, a national lawn and garden service. Prior to its sale to Ecolab, Inc., in 1987, ChemLawn was a coast-to-coast business providing residential and commercial services for lawn, tree, and shrub care.

Mr. Duke generously supported a wide variety of community projects and charitable programs prior to his death in 1991. Most notable was his early contribution to the Ohio Hospice of Miami County, as well as the support and development of Clear Creek Farm, whose mission is to “provide a safe, structured home environment for youth offering hope and healing.” 

Mr. Duke transitioned leadership of the Foundation to his daughter, Patricia Duke Robinson. An active community volunteer and advocate for the residents of Miami County, Mrs. Robinson guided the Foundation’s activities for three decades. 

Pat thought carefully, strategically, and with deliberation about the future of the Foundation her father started. She decided to continue it in a way that takes advantage of the local leadership she has nurtured and encouraged, as well as the administrative support available through The Columbus Foundation. 

At Pat’s recommendation, the Duke Foundation’s trustee appointment process was changed so that future trustees would be leaders of the Miami County community — not limited to family. In this way, Pat has entrusted her family’s legacy to the broader community, believing that the future trustees’ commitment to the region will ensure that the Duke Foundation continues to improve the lives of children, young people, and families as it has since 1983.

Mrs. Robinson has entrusted the stewardship of the Duke Foundation to dedicated leaders from the Miami County community, who are committed to building on the Foundation’s 40-year history of strategic grantmaking and investment in the region. 

Today, the Paul G. Duke Foundation is strongly committed to carrying on a philanthropic tradition of supporting nonprofit organizations primarily in Miami County, where the Duke Garden Centers originated.  

Past presidents of the Duke Foundation include: 

  • Paul G. Duke
  • Patricia Duke Robinson
  • Ronald B. Scott
  • Linda A. Daniel