Larry "The Can Man" Van Ness Memorial Fund



Larry “The Can Man” Van Ness Memorial Fund established at Madison County Community Foundation

The Madison County Community Foundation (MCCF) has announced the establishment of the Larry “the Can Man” Van Ness Community Memorial Fund. Local resident Rachel Landers, Van Ness’ long-time caregiver, made the initial contribution to launch the fund in hopes that many others in the community who were impacted by his life would be inspired to donate as well.

The purpose of the fund is to honor and celebrate Van Ness’ life and memory following his passing last month. Van Ness overcame a troubled past of homelessness and addition before he found his love for helping others and became a self-proclaimed “taboholic,” in reference to the collecting ritual that he credited with saving his life.

“Larry Van Ness was such a happy, friendly, and compassionate man,” said Landers. “He spent much of his life giving back to the community and helping those he saw who were in need. The community embraced Larry for his kindness, humility, and generosity when he had little in the way of material wealth.”

Upon Van Ness’ passing, Landers decided it would be appropriate that a memorial fund be established in his name to continue giving back to the community. The fund will be permanently endowed, meaning that the principal from donors’ contributions will never be spent. As the fund grows over time, from contributions and market gains, the proceeds will be used to benefit local agencies which provide Human Services to Madison County residents.

“The Foundation is humbled to follow Larry’s lead in helping and giving to others,” said MCCF President Ben Davis. “There’s no better way to preserve his spirit and legacy than an endowed fund that is protected forever.”

Donations can be made to the fund here or by mail to the Madison County Community Foundation, 911 Meridian St., Anderson, IN 46016. The memo line should indicate that the donation is for the Van Ness Memorial Fund. 

The Madison County Community Foundation was founded in 1992 and is celebrating its 30th year of existence. Through the generosity of more than 3,000 individual contributors who have donated over $33 million, the Foundation has distributed more than $26 million in grants and scholarships to local organizations and students. For more information visit

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