Briefing Mayor Myrick

Scott MacLeod, a donor advisor of The Sophie Fund, briefed Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick Thursday on the fund’s newly adopted strategic plan and projects underway for 2017. The meeting was held in advance of a gathering on April 17 organized by The Sophie Fund of 30 mental health stakeholders from the greater Ithaca community and Tompkins County.


MacLeod told the mayor that he and his wife Susan Hack set up The Sophie Fund after their daughter Sophie, a 23-year-old art student on a health leave of absence from Cornell University, took her own life in Ithaca on Easter weekend in 2016. MacLeod said Sophie’s shocking, unexpected death motivated his family to provide support and advocacy for suicide prevention and other mental health programs for young people in the Ithaca area.

The Sophie Fund Strategic Plan 2017 sets forth four goals:

To support mental health initiatives with tangible impact aiding young people in the Greater Ithaca community

To raise awareness and end the stigma around mental illness and treatment

To advance a zero suicide ethos in the community

To serve as a community advocate for young people struggling with mental illness

MacLeod also briefed Mayor Myrick on The Sophie Fund’s current projects, including: organizing the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest; providing a grant for an author series sponsored by the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County; and developing a support system for students taking a health leave of absence from local colleges.

Mayor Myrick welcomed The Sophie Fund’s efforts and urged that strong attention be given to programs aiding struggling adolescents so that mental disorders affecting young people don’t escalate into more complicated and dangerous conditions in adulthood.

The Sophie Fund is a donor-advised fund under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. As of December 31, 2016, 97 individuals and foundations had made donations to The Sophie Fund.