Cathleen McFarlane Foundation, Inc.

Our History


Cathleen McFarlane Ross established the Foundation in 1997. From its establishment in 1997 to her death in 2010, she made significant annual donations to the Foundation. She supported many charities during her lifetime but focused primarily on homeless people, homeless animals and addiction problems. As a result of her background in the theater, television and film, she also supported the Arts.


She made a substantial Founders gift to the Kravis Center. She also made regular annual donations to The Society of the Four Arts and to the George Bernard Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake in Canada where she and her husband maintained a home.


In her will, she left her Mizner Villa at 456 Worth Avenue to her Foundation as well as other money. The Villa des Cygnes was sold in September 2011 and the proceeds make up the bulk of the Foundation assets, which approximate $20 million.


Just before her death she was immersed in saving Sacred Heart School in Lake Worth from imminent closure. Her goals were achieved. The Foundation supports the Cathleen McFarlane Ross Learning Lab, which is specifically dedicated to helping pupils with significant learning disabilities. Cathleen spoke before her death of “giving these little kids an education or they will go nowhere”.


Making a difference for those less fortunate, especially those suffering from homelessness and addiction, was Cathleen’s mission in life, and in death she lives on.