The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 2, 2011

Gifts keep on giving through foundation

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— Leaving a lasting legacy is a goal of many people, and the Cherokee Strip Community Foundation knows just how you can achieve it.

A legacy gift can be an outright gift or bequest of any type. Many donor families have set up funds in their names that will continue to give to the recipient of their choosing, said Ashley Ewbank, executive director of Cherokee Strip Community Foundation.

“It doesn’t have to be cash, it can be non-cash assets,” she said.

People may donate property, which will then be sold and invested in their name. All of the investments in the community foundation are legacy gifts because they are endowments, and they keep on giving, Ewbank said.

Total assets of the community foundation as of Feb. 28, 2011, totaled $11.5 million.

Last year was better than 2008-09, and the fund is doing better and growing well, Ewbank said. Many donors are actively working to increase their endowments.

“We’re getting the non-profits to understand they can count on it on an annual basis,” she said.

With the name change from Enid Community Foundation to Cherokee Strip Community Foundation, the organization gained the interest of other communities, including Woodward, where two recently acquired large donations were set up to benefit that community. The Lanny Duckett endowment will go to Woodward Arts Theatre and the Jack and Freda M. Dick endowment goes to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

An endowment fund is a permanent fund that provides income each year to support a mission. The organizational funds at the foundation are managed professionally to ensure they remain strong over time. CSCF funds pay out up to 5 percent of the fund balance. For example, a $100,000 gift provides about $5,000 in support each year, she said.

Endowment funds provide unrestricted support to advance the mission of the selected non-profit entities. It is possible to establish separate funds for support of specific purposes, she said. The foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), public foundation. Tax-deductible donations may be received from individuals, businesses and other sources.

Executive board members are Leonard Northcutt, president; Todd Earl, vice president; Richard DeVaughn, secretary; Linda Record, treasurer; and Cheryl Bryan, investment chairwoman.

Board of trustee members are DeVaughn, Earl, Don Fischbach, Northcutt, Bryan, John Cromwell, Michael Bigheart, Marcie Price, Peter Dillingham, Phil Edwards, Kyle Brownlee, John Wynne, David Grissett, Don Gaston, Record, Sean Byrne, Jeff Funk, Steve Whitfill, Willa Jo Fowler, Gary L. Brown, Dr. David Russell, Brad Mendenhall and Bill Shewey. Walter P. Scheffe, deceased, is an emeritus member.