In 2005 five Larkspur residents began the discussions and research that led to cretion of the Larkspur Community Foundation.  Inspired by local foundation models created in Belvedere, Tiburon and Corte Madera, the founders set out to launch a nonprofit organization that could raise money for projects that would otherwise go unfunded. The goal was to enhance the community’s quality of life and sustain its small-town character where tax dollars were not available.

By 2014 a number of steps had been taken to create a foundation that would encourage philanthropy and help build community through support for activities and projects.  Articles of incorporation were certified by the California Secretary of State, by-laws were adopted, and state and federal agencies approved the new foundation’s exemption from income tax with 501 (c) 3 status.  The board was expanded to seven with the addition of Jody Coker and Molly Wuthrich, and plans were under way to begin fund raising through letters to potential donors.

Initial funding goals included community events like the “Heart of Larkspur” evenings celebrating local volunteers, and Movies and Music in the Park events; capital projects like helping a neighborhood raise funds to rejuvenate a mini-park; and grants to assist organizations such as the historic Lark Theatre and the Marin Community Clinic in Larkspur carry out much-needed improvements. As of 2023 the foundation had made more than 60 grants in categories that included education, social services, public safety, parks and library. As the Foundation enters its second decade of service, all indications are the hopes of the founders will continue to be realized.


These five dynamic women: Helen Heitkamp, Sallyanne Wilson, Sandy Blauvelt, Kathy Hartzell, and Joan Lundstrom wanted to preserve and assist the small town they each loved by establishing the Foundation. Each of the founders brought to this effort a rich background in city and county affairs:















Helen Heitkamp



Sandy Blauvelt

Sandy Blauvelt, first president of the Foundation, was a member of the Larkspur Parks and Recreation Commission and longtime community leader. She also served as Aide to County Supervisor Hal Brown for many years. Click here for a link to the Marin IJ memorial for Sandy.






Joan Lundstrom

Joan Lundstrom, the first female Mayor in Larkspur, served many terms on the City Council, was a co-founder of the Larkspur Town Meeting and continues to be very involved at both the City and County levels.






Sallyanne Wilson

Sallyanne Wilson, served on Larkspur Park and Rec Commission and had been program officer for the environment at the Marin Community Foundation.





Helen Heitkamp

Helen Heitkamp, was instrumental in creating the city’s Heritage Preservation Board. A former writer and editor for Better Homes and Gardens, Mrs. Heitkamp dedicated her life largely to appreciate and preserve Larkspur history. She was the primary writer and editor of “Larkspur Past and Present,” a history of the city. Please click here to read a lovely tribute that ran in the Marin IJ on February 6, 2019.






Kathy Hartzell

Kathy Hartzell, a former Larkspur Mayor, also served on LCMSD Board and chaired Larkspur’s 2008 Centennial Celebration.