Table Talk Pie matriarch leaves funds to benefit children's education, family economic security, and immigrant/refugee support in Central Mass

(Worcester, MA – August 24, 2023) The Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF) is proud to announce a significant donation of $4 million from the estate of Mary T. Cocaine, matriarch of the Table Talk Pie company.

This transformative gift will create three new endowed charitable funds at the Foundation, a scholarship fund, a donor-advised fund, and a field of interest fund - all aimed at benefiting the residents of Worcester and contiguous towns, including Auburn, Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Paxton, Shrewsbury, and West Boylston. The focus areas of the funds are education, economic security of families, and support for the region’s immigrant and refugee populations. Mary’s legacy mirrors the commitment of Table Talk Pies to partner with nonprofit organizations making a difference in this community.

Born in Worcester in 1927, Mary T. Cocaine was the daughter of Theodore Tonna, one of the founders of Table Talk Pies. As a daughter, wife, and mother, she was able to support three generations of leadership of the company. This role ultimately culminated in her becoming the head of the company herself in her later years. Mary passed away in 2021 at age 94.

"My mother's generous gift through the Mary T. Cocaine Trust is a testament to her deep love and gratitude for the city of Worcester,” said Harry Kokkinis, Executive Chairman of Table Talk Pies and son of Mary Cocaine. “She firmly believed in providing opportunities for others to achieve the American Dream, and these funds will make a significant impact in supporting education, economic security, and assistance to immigrants and refugees in our community."

"We are deeply grateful for the generous gift from Mary through her bequest,” said Pete Dunn, President and CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. "The creation of these new funds will allow us to work with partners and community members to identify and address the most pressing needs in Worcester and the surrounding towns, ensuring everyone has access to the resources and support they need to thrive."

The funds will be distributed each year through GWCF’s grantmaking programs, which support a wide range of nonprofit organizations, scholarships for graduating high school students, and strategic initiatives that seek to move the region forward. The Foundation has a long history of partnering with local organizations to create positive change in the community and this gift will help to further that mission.