Born from a discussion between Ed and Fred Owen in the old Eppley Airfield restaurant, the Owen Foundation was created in 1959, and formalized in 1960, by Fred E. Owen to centralize and institutionalize the annual charitable and civic donations made by Owen Industries.
In 1985, Ed Owen spoke at the dedication ceremony for Camp Owen, a facility in Platte River State Park funded by the Owen Foundation. The year marked the 100th anniversary of Paxton & Vierling Steel and the 25th anniversary of the Foundation. Ed took the opportunity to extol the accomplishments of the Foundation to company employees who gathered for the annual picnic.
He explained that his father’s gifts and company profits from a few outstanding years “brought the total cash input for the Foundation to over $2,000,000.” Through investments, it earned interest and dividends of over another $1,000,000. “As we kept reinvesting,” he proudly proclaimed, “the Foundation grew, making contributions possible to various charities of nearly $4,000,000.”
Since 1985, the Owen Foundation has more than doubled its gifts, and continues to be an active supporter of local non-profits and charities.