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Adventures in Smart Giving
/ October 18, 2017
After leading two successful businesses, raising kids, serving their community and traveling the globe, Bob and Cynthia East of Little Rock decided to start a fund at Arkansas Community Foundation that will benefit the causes they care about. 

“I had looked into starting a family foundation but there was a lot of paperwork involved and it was so much easier to set up a fund at the Community Foundation,” said Bob, chairman of the board of East Harding Construction, which he helped found 43 years ago. “The Community Foundation fund is a good way to have a growing resource that we can use for a long time into the future.”

Bob has a history of service to his community as past chairman of the Little Rock National Airport Commission and a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. He is now a board member for the Downtown Little Rock Partnership and the Arkansas Workforce Commission.

But at heart he is an adventurer. He climbed Mount Everest almost 30 years ago, has run with the bulls at Pamplona and floated down the Mississippi from St. Paul to New Orleans. Where was Cynthia? At base camp on Mount Everest, at the end of the course in Pamplona and helping as crew at stops along the Mississippi.

In between global adventures, she owns and operates Cynthia East Fabrics, a 40-year Little Rock institution providing quality, decorative fabrics. Cynthia has served on the boards of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Volunteers in Public Schools. Her passion is public education, and she’s been a public school advocate since before their two adult children were students. 

“My parents were involved in the 1957 crisis and that got me on the right side of the issue. I feel I got a great education, and I want to see that happen for every child.”

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