The Literacy Cooperative Granted $500,000 Gift from Third Federal Foundation

Establishes the Kurt Karakul Prize to honor the retiring director.

CLEVELAND – June 24, 2021 – Marc A. Stefanski, Chairman and CEO of Third Federal announced a $500,000 gift to The Literacy Cooperative to establish the Kurt Karakul Prize. The gift honors Karakul, the retiring executive director of the Third Federal Foundation.  

The Third Federal Foundation was formed in 2007. Karakul was the first director of the Foundation, leading impactful initiatives in education, housing and healthcare in the communities Third Federal serves, and most directly, in Slavic Village, where the company was founded in 1938.

Karakul has been an important and valued member of The Literacy Cooperative’s Board of Trustees for nearly a decade, and he will continue his service after retirement. The Literacy Cooperative is thankful for his years of dedicated service to literacy and the Greater Cleveland community.  

“This very generous gift represents an opportunity to raise awareness around the importance of literacy in honor of Kurt,” said Bob Paponetti, President and CEO of The Literacy Cooperative. 

This gift will allow The Literacy Cooperative to develop an award focused on those who, like Karakul, are literacy champions and making a positive impact on the communities in which they live and work.  

An organizational fund at the Cleveland Foundation has been established for the award. To donate to the award in honor of Kurt, visit