By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
By Robert Barron
Enid Community Foundation was established in 2000 as a way to help residents make gifts to area nonprofits, ones that would keep giving after they are gone. Today, the fund is bigger than ever, with more than 140 funds totaling $13.7 million.
A new funding method is available through the end of the year, said Mary Stallings, executive director of Enid Community Foundation. Individuals who are 701⁄2 years old or more may consider making a gift from a traditional IRA without incurring income or estate taxes, she said. That provision will end Dec. 31.
“The rollover allows eligible individuals to donate up to $100,000 with no tax,” Stallings said.
There are a number of different types of funds available to potential donors, but Stallings said the donor designated funds, donor advised funds and the funds for Enid endowment growth, such as the one the late Walter Scheffe started, are the most popular. Stallings discussed some of the funds currently benefiting Enid organizations.
• John and Gail Wynne, Hunger Relief Donor Advised Fund. John and Gail Wynne are the donors of the fund, which was established July 12, 2011. The funds were distributed to Loaves and Fishes in 2012. Gail Wynne said she likes that type of fund, because the donor gets to pick each year.
“There are two things near and dear to our hearts: Food for Kids and Loaves and Fishes,” Wynne said. About 30 percent of the people fed by Loaves and Fishes are children, she said. The money goes to hunger initiatives in Garfield County. In the year Loaves and Fishes has been open, it has given food assistance 8,855 times to 5,365 people.
Many of the people who come to Loaves and Fishes have jobs and are working. Other groups of people the organization serves are senior citizens living on social security or small retirements, and developmentally disabled adults.
Loaves and Fishes is not a place where people come every month. Eighty percent came about four times in the last year. “They come when they need us,” Gail Wynne said.
She called the organization an emergency food pantry and said many people use it as a place to help them get back on their feet so they will not see them again. Some of the organization's clients even volunteer there.
“John and I are interested in making sure the things we care about in the community continue past the time we are not here. There will be some financial support for the things we worked on during our lifetime,” she said.
• The Singer Family, Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse and Adventure Quest ( Enid Arts and Science Foundation). Its donors are Richard and Suellen Singer. It is a designated fund established in 2006. Distribution is made each year by the community foundation to Leonardo’s.
“They are longtime residents now living in Oklahoma City. They continue to support nonprofits in Enid for the future through endowment building,” Stallings said.
• Ralph C. Price Family Endowment, created by the family of Ralph Charles Price. It is an endowment designated fund by the Enid Community Foundation to the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America and the Salvation Army. It was established in 2009 and distributed by a personal representative of the Price family.
• The Phillips University Legacy Foundation General Endowment is an endowment designated fund established in 2012. The distribution each year is from the Phillips University Legacy Foundation.
Kelly Coker, executive director of the Phillips University Legacy Foundation, said the funds are used as a scholarship program for outstanding Christian leaders who attend any of the 17 colleges and universities affiliated with the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church). She called it a leadership-based scholarship.
“It is a leadership award based on scholarship; it’s not just one you receive money for. We also work during the year on leadership training with them and have a leadership conference once a year,” Coker said. “It provides intensive training.”
This year’s conference is Nov. 7-10 in Tyler, Texas. There currently are 19 scholars in the program, she said.
Since the inception of the program, more than $1 million in scholarships has been awarded, Coker said.
• The Scheffe Fund is an endowed designated fund. It was established in 2007 by longtime Enid druggist Walter Scheffe. Distribution each year provides funds which can be applied for by a donor for matching funds when establishing a new endowment for a nonprofit.
Those funds are examples of the type of funds that can be established. Stallings said it is the work of the foundation, built of individuals, representing all walks of life.
“They are creating the funds for something they are passionate about and want to make a difference — someone with vision and love for a nonprofit, or someone who has no heirs and it comes though an estate. There are many ways an endowment can be made,” she said.
Anyone interested should call Stallings at the Enid Community Foundation, 234-3988.