A Gift of Ag Land Builds Community
Late in 2013, following the death of an anonymous donor who had lived in the area for many years, the Byron Community Foundation Fund received an unrestricted gift from the sale of a quarter section of land located in Kansas.
This enabled the Fund to begin building its new community center much sooner than anticipated.
The donor’s name was later revealed. According to Attorney Bill Navis of Belleville, Kansas, the trust officer for the estate Clarence Kettelhut, one of the key elements that made the gift possible was good communications between Nebraska Community Foundation, himself and his client,
“The Byron Community Foundation Fund created a choice that fit the bill for what he wanted to do,” Bill Navis said. “And everything was done in a professional manner, so the donor had the confidence that his wishes would be carried out.
“Because the land was located in Kansas it created a few complications. It was helpful to have NCF’s experience and expertise.”
Bill said the reason that this gift was made was because Clarence Kettlehut recognized the deep commitment and community support for the building project. He knew the people well and he respected them. He saw that other people were doing their part.
“It just touches you to see someone’s love for his community to the extent that a gift like this was made. NCF and the Byron Fund were the perfect mechanism to make this gift in an efficient and timely manner.”
Since the gift was unrestricted the Fund chose to endow a large portion of the proceeds from the sale.
“This gives the Fund some elbow room. Sometimes a gift to a community can actually create problems down the road. Having an endowment shows that people are thinking ahead.
“Community foundations are a wonderful way to accomplish what a donor really wants to do in his heart and soul. They’re flexible, efficient and the way to go in the long-term,” said Bill.
“This was an uplifting experience for me personally. It just leaves you with a good feeling.”
Photo Caption: Byron Community Foundation Fund Advisory Committee members broke ground early on a new community center thanks to a generous gift of farmland.