As told to Diane Prickett (May 2022)
From the time I was a kid, I knew that higher education would be in my plans. My mother was the driving force in seeing that each of her seven children would attain a college degree. She had attended summer school after high school to earn her qualification to teach. She taught at a rural school which years later, I attended for eight years. My father was less fortunate. He had to quit school after fourth grade to help on the farm.
What a blessing it was to have the financial help of our parents. We were able to attain our goals. All seven of us earned our college degrees! We were unlike many of the children in our neighborhood. They were kept on the farm to help their parents, just as our father had. Those children never had a chance to realize their potential.
I see the difference an education has made in our lives. I can’t help but to compare our childhood with those of the many families in our area who are living at or below the poverty level. We were able to achieve so much with just a little help! I am grateful to be in a position where I can offer a little help to those who show promise to realize their goals and dreams.
I am able to contribute to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Program by gifting the RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) from my retirement account and I would encourage you to explore this possibility. You may be instrumental in assisting one or more young people in realizing their full potential.
Jeff and Karin Roby
Jeff and Karin Roby moved to SaddleBrooke in 2001 from Discovery Bay, California after they had both retired. As a University of Arizona graduate, Karin was familiar with Tucson, and the prospect of year round blue skies and golf appealed to both of them. Karin worked for the State of California Employment Development Department for 35 years. Jeff, after spending six years as an active duty Navy officer, retired as CEO of a small health care company.
Karin and Jeff enjoyed reading the personal stories of the many students who have benefitted from the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Program and they both decided it was time to step up and contribute.
They state “We appreciate that we were able to finish college with no debts and are fortunate that we are able to help local students pay at least part of their tuition.” Karin added, “Working 35 years in employment services certainly proved to me the value of higher education and advanced technical training.” They not only like the aspect of helping local students but, knowing that Community Outreach is an all-volunteer organization, they also know that the money they contribute is all going towards its intended purpose.
Finally, the fact that only the earnings on their contribution are used to provide scholarships, the know that their contribution will continue to help students for generations to come.
Sally Sample always wanted to make a difference. With a masters degree in nursing, Sally served as a Nursing Administrator in several universities across the country. She states “Throughout my career as a nurse, nurse educator and nursing administrator, I have searched for ways to support nurses in continuing their education. Never have I been so proud to be a member of the profession as when I see nurses on the front line during this pandemic.”
Sally’s four decades in nursing were recognized when, in 1994, the American Academy of Nursing honored her as a “Living Legend in Nursing”.
Even in retirement, Sally has been actively supporting education by coordinating the volunteers at the annual SaddleBrooke Health Fair. She also serves as a docent at Tohono Chul Park and a volunteer at Sister Jose Womens’ Center.
“The SBCO Scholarship Endowment Program caught my attention in the SaddleBrooke papers. I was so impressed with the effort these high school students make to balance their studies with work and family responsibilities! They deserve our help and encouragement. I have contributed a one time gift to the Scholarship Endowment program, but more importantly, I have included the Scholarship Endowment Program in my will for future generations of students who will need assistance. Scholarship funds provide hope for students who dare to achieve opportunities that will make a difference, not only in their lives, but in the lives of others.”
Susan and Ed Barnes
Susan and Ed Barnes moved to SaddleBrooke in 2016 from Brookfield, Wisconsin. Susan is a retired teacher, counselor and school administrator and Ed worked as a medical physicist.
“My contribution to the Saddlebrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Endowment Fund was inspired by a series of visits to high schools in the Copper Corridor to interview students requesting scholarship support from SBCO.”
“I was extremely impressed with the strength of character and fortitude of these students. Many were living in extreme poverty, some being raised by a single parent or grandparent, with multiple children to support, and others from families victimized by the closure of mines a few years ago. Most of these students were employed and contributing financially to the basic necessities of the family. At the same time, they were excelling in their school work, leading their class academically and also, in their “spare time”, participating in extracurricular activities. These students are the backbone and future of their communities.”
“While Susan and I both continue to enjoy serving the kids of the Copper Corridor through volunteering our time and talent, we believe it’s vitally important to support the Scholarship Endowment Fund initiative. We encourage others wishing to make a lasting contribution to support the education of future generations to consider making a gift to this fund as your legacy to those that need our help.”
Susan and Ed realize how their education has made a difference in their lives and they have both made it their life’s work to help others access the same opportunities they’ve enjoyed. Ed states, “We know what hard work is, what it means to dream and to be inspired to make dreams a reality….a common trait I see in the SBCO scholarship applicants.”
Joe and Camille Esterman
Joe and Camille Esterman wanted to give something back.
Joe and Camille moved to Saddlebrooke Ranch four years ago from Lisle, Illinois. Camille is a retired CPA and Joe worked in Marketing and as a Financial Advisor.
Married 51 years, both feel blessed to have an education that has led them to rewarding careers. While neither of their parents graduated from college, both of their daughters have advanced degrees: One has a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations, the other is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and now their oldest grandchild is a freshman at Ohio State.
Camille and Joe have reached a point in their lives where they now have both the desire and the ability to make a difference in the lives of students who might otherwise be unable to attend college—to give those students the same opportunities both they and their daughters enjoyed.
As the current Treasurer of SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, Camille has seen, firsthand, the impact scholarship awards have on students living in the SBCO service area. Joe, as a former Financial Advisor, understands the powerful growth potential of a professionally managed endowment account. Knowing that annual distributions come from only a portion of the earnings assures that the principal (the money donated) will remain intact and grow in perpetuity to help future generations of students.
Kurt and Sue Gelbach
One SaddleBrooke couple who made a forever gift to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Program is Sue and Kurt Gelbach. Sue and Kurt were happy to learn about SBCO’s community activities when they started spending winters in SaddleBrooke 7 years ago.
They’ve always been supportive of educational initiatives for the underserved, due in no small part to the fact that Sue spent 25 years as a Special Education teacher in a very economically challenged school district. They’ve long been familiar with the inequities in public school funding and the challenges that must be overcome by disadvantaged students. In the past, they’ve financially supported their niece’s Peace Corps project in El Salvador to fund high school tuition for students who otherwise would cease their education at a very young age. They’ve also provided funds for inner city Chicago students aspiring to attend college.
It was therefore easy for them to shift their focus to the local issues around SaddleBrooke. Sue and Kurt quickly understood the significant need in the surrounding area, but what really excited them was to discover the significant talent associated with that need.
Kurt joined the SBCO Scholarship Committee and was completely blown away, not only by the academic records and extracurricular involvement of the applicants but also what they had overcome in their backgrounds. He saw that they were highly motivated to improve their circumstances in life, and astute enough to recognize that education would be their key. In Kurt’s view, there was no shortage of great applicants, just a shortage of money to help them.
Kurt and Sue realize how fortunate they’ve been in their lives—made so much easier by the fact that resources were available to them to pursue their educational goals and to ensure their children had the same opportunities. They feel they are now at a point in life when it’s time to “pay it forward” and continue to support SBCO in its educational programs in the future. They know that a gift of education is a gift that lasts forever
Mike and Mary Redgrave
Mary and Mike Redgrave moved to SaddleBrooke Ranch from Sacramento, California in February, 2019. Mary worked in financial services and Mike ran the state air quality database for the California Air Resources Board.
Mike was a first generation college student and states “I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the difference education can make in a person’s life. If I’m going to donate to something, it’s going to be something to do with education.”
Both Mary and Mike were looking for a local cause they could get passionate about. One day Mary (who is the organizer in the family) showed Mike an article about the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund that she saw in the Roundup. Mike said that he checked out SaddleBrooke Community Outreach online and was impressed with what he saw. “I was particularly impressed with the process used to make sure the kids selected for scholarships are the most deserving.”
Mike added, “We both figured it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. We especially wanted to help students who might otherwise not be able to get post-secondary training.”
“We wanted to make sure that money we donated would make a real difference and, after researching the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund, we were very confident that we made a good choice.”
Pat and Ron Andrea
We donated to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund because my wife, Pat, and I strongly believe in the value of education. We believe that no one should be denied educational opportunities because they can’t afford them.
Pat was fortunate to come from a family that valued education and saved money to finance her four years of college. I, on the other hand, was a “need-based” scholarship recipient who would likely not have graduated from college without the generosity of caring and generous people that I didn’t even know. Neither of my parents graduated from high school and they felt I was foolish to attend college rather than accept a job in the local factory where my father worked.
“I’m proud to say that my decision over fifty years ago not only changed the direction of my life but also helped Pat and me instill the value of education in our children. They now have advanced degrees and are passing those same educational values on to our four grandchildren.”
“That is why we so strongly believe that a gift of education lasts forever. Research has reinforced that belief by teaching us that children raised in poverty are 72% more likely to raise their own children in poverty! For children raised in poverty, education is the great equalizer. It’s a game changer for these kids and the ticket to a better life.”
“Most of the SBCO scholarship recipients are first generation college students who wouldn’t be able to pursue a college or trade school education without financial help. A donation to the Endowment Fund not only helps the student who receives the scholarship, but likely makes a difference for his or her children and grandchildren as well. Because the amount donated is never spent, the earnings on each donation help generations of future students long after you and I are gone.”
Bonnie Westra is one of several local residents who has contributed to the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Scholarship Endowment Fund.
“I know from experience that education is a gift that keeps on giving,” said Bonnie. “I was a first-generation college student and didn’t have family role models to show me the benefits of a college education. I just knew I wanted a better job and a better life. With the generous support of both people and programs, I was able to finance my undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. As a result of my education, I held many interesting jobs in clinical nursing, partnered in a startup software business and enjoyed faculty positions that included research, education and service.”
This year Bonnie turned 70 1/2, requiring her to take the mandated IRA distribution. The additional income affected her taxes. After talking with her tax accountant, she decided it was a great time to benefit others through a Qualified Charitable Distribution. Bonnie was on the faculty at the University of Minnesota and her husband was a graduate of Purdue. They planned to provide financial support for scholarships to both of these institutions. However, as she became more involved with SaddleBrooke and the Community Outreach programs, she saw an opportunity to help on a local basis as well.
“What was so appealing about supporting the Scholarship Endowment Fund, just announced last October, is that it is building a sustainable foundation to keep on giving into the future. The stories of the Scholarship Recipients that I read in the SaddleBrooke papers were inspiring. They opened up my eyes to how we can raise up our community, not just SaddleBrooke, but the community surrounding us. Education can provide opportunities for others, just as I was fortunate to receive my education and live dreams that seemed impossible early in my life.”
“It’s now payback time for me. The Scholarship Endowment Fund has a personal financial benefit for me, but the driving force in my decision to donate is my commitment to the next generation. My gift will help deserving, hard-working students for many generations to come.”
Ruth and Dale Leman
Ruth and Dale Leman are one of several couples who have decided to contribute to the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Scholarship Endowment Fund.
“I hit the magic age of 70½ and my financial institution informed me early in 2019 of the amount required for my mandated IRA distribution. It was clear to us that the distribution would increase our tax obligation, but we avoided deciding what action to take until I read the December article in the SaddleBrooke papers about the Scholarship Endowment Fund.
“We’ve always been impressed that Community Outreach, as an all volunteer program, has done so much for local children. Three features about this program, however, stood out to us: First, we liked that the money donated goes into an endowment that lasts forever, with the earnings growing each year. We especially liked the idea of leaving a legacy that will continue to help local students long after we’re gone. Secondly, the fact that the program carefully selects deserving students, that really need and can benefit from the help, reassured us that the money we donate will be well spent. Finally, there was the tax benefit: Because the funds were donated directly from our financial institution, we avoided the tax on the distribution.”
“As a result, the net cost to us turned out to be far less than the amount we donated.”
“For us, this was a ‘win-win’ proposition. We get a tax break, we feel good about contributing to a great cause, and generations of students will benefit from our support. I would advise potential donors, however, that they don’t need to wait until December like we did, because IRA distributions can be taken anytime throughout the year.”