The gift that keeps on giving

Recently Steve Stanfield of the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour invited me to a meeting of the agency’s board of directors to share news about an endowed fund that benefits our youth.

A bequest from Tom Voss, a Seymour man who died this spring at the age of 91, triggered the request as the board planned to thank Tom’s children, Suzanne Montgomery and Richard Voss, for their father’s generosity.

Tom was dedicated to the mission and successful results produced at the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour.

That was evident in his work with the club and his financial support over the years. This of course includes Tom’s decision to assist the club in perpetuity with the creation of The F. Walter Voss and Tom G. Voss Boys and Girls Club of Seymour Fund at the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Tom was also a supporter and hard worker in our formative years, serving on the foundation’s first board of directors. Walter, by the way, served on the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors.

Tom started the fund with an initial gift of $5,680 in August 1996. He wanted to honor his big brother, Bud, while also helping the club and the foundation at the same time. The fund paid its first grant on earnings to the club in 1998 — $391.44. It has since provided nearly $21,000 in grants to the club.

His initial gift was financed with 140 shares of what was then National City Corp. stock. National City Bank was the successor of Seymour National Bank, where Tom worked for many years, including service as its president.

This most recent gift, a bequest of $50,000, brings the Voss Fund’s balance to $87,633.67. Depending upon market conditions and the granting rate approved by the foundation’s board of directors, it could expect to yield a grant of $3,505 on a 4 percent granting rate.

Tom well understood the benefits of endowed funds administered by the foundation — that the gifts live forever, perpetually benefiting the agencies and causes that they’re designed to aid, in this case the Boys & Girls Club and therefore the youth of Jackson County.

The Voss Fund is not alone, however, in benefiting the agency. Three others administered by the Community Foundation also support the club: Two Boys & Girls Club endowments and the Edward H. and Dorothy E. Howard Boys & Girls Club of Seymour Fund.

If you feel stirred by Tom’s example and that of the Howard family, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

The foundation staff and I would be happy to work with you on creating your own endowed fund that could benefit the Boys & Girls Club — or any other charity you’d like to support — through your generous gifts.

And of course, you can always make donations to the existing funds if you’d prefer, perhaps honoring Tom’s legacy, for instance.

As our friend Tom understood, such gifts can help others forever and ever. And ever.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The foundation administers more than 140 funds with assets of more than $10 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Davis at president@cfjacksoncounty.org.