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In Celebration of the Legacy of Alexis Jacobs

“She was a great beacon of light in this community.”
-Bruce A. Harkey, President & CEO of Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens 

On June 22, friends gathered at the Conservatory for a celebration of life for Alexis Jacobs. Jacobs, the Former Columbus Fair Auto Auction owner, was a fashionista with a “sunny” disposition who had long supported the Conservatory, along with the work of the Columbus Urban League. She passed away on June 3 at the age of 80, bequeathing an unrestricted gift of $4 million to each nonprofit.

Jacobs’ gift is the single largest in Conservatory history, and will have a transformational effect for the Conservatory’s mission work, educating children and families and building the community through a shared love of nature. 

Greg Levi, her Columbus Fair Auto Auction business partner, said Jacobs’ quiet philanthropy was based on her love for the people involved in the causes and organizations that she supported. Though she never sought the spotlight in life, the impact of her bequest can not be overstated. 

“Unrestricted gifts like these can be transformational,” said Douglas Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “It is the ultimate expression of belief in an organization’s mission and in its leadership. The community benefits of Alexis’ philanthropy will be deep and long and should be celebrated by all. Gifts of this size and type are as precious as they are uncommon.”

Most importantly, Alexis will be dearly missed. Friends for over 14 years, Bruce shared a final message to Jacobs, “Your spirit will always be with us and we are so thankful and appreciative.”

View this beautiful tribute video for more on Jacobs’ impact and legacy. The Conservatory will forever celebrate Jacobs as a true friend, advocate, and devoted Heirloom Society member. Here’s to you, Alexis.

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