Long-time donor advisors, Bernie and Mary Beth Buescher, celebrate their 70th birthdays soon, one in June and one in July.

 “Together, we are 140 years old this year!” laughs Bernie.

The Bueschers recently reviewed their estate plans and realized two things: The charitable gifts they intended to make in their wills were already outdated, and a question arose: Why wait? Why not make donations now?Their four children are all established and doing well, and lots of their favorite organizations need resources to pursue new programs now.

“We are so blessed that we can make some bigger grants to nonprofits we have supported over the years. We realized we wanted to do it now and be able to see the impact of our giving instead of waiting until we are gone. Plus it will be fun to see the smiles on people’s faces!”

WCCF President and Executive Director, Anne Wenzel, has been working with the Bueschers to plan this special event.

 “We frequently see donors make donations to charity in celebration of a milestone birthday or in honor of parents. Sometimes children ask for donations to a nonprofit organization in lieu of birthday gifts. What the Bueschers are doing is extraordinary, and we hope this will inspire others to share their wealth with those who are less fortunate. What a great way for generous people to celebrate a big birthday!”

The Buescher Charitable Giving Fund will distribute sizable grants in the next few weeks to 12 favorite organizations, including a handful of local nonprofits and Denver organizations such as The Colorado Children’s Campaign, Invest In Kids, and Colorado Public Radio. One of the 12 recipients is our Community Foundation. A donation of $50,000 is designated for our leadership projects and supporting greatest needs in the community. In addition to these one-time birthday gifts, the Bueschers have made provisions in their wills for end-of-life gifts to our Community Grants Fund to respond to current needs, with an emphasis on early childhood education and literacy.

Notes Mary Beth, a WCCF board member, “We’ve been so impressed with how much the Community Foundation is doing to address community issues like hunger, drug addiction and suicide. We want them to have some unrestricted dollars to meet whatever needs there are to be tackled when we are gone.”

Our Community Foundation is pleased to be able to provide significant grant funding to three organizations that don’t typically receive funding from other donor-advised funds:

Riverside Education Center (REC) provides after-school tutoring and enrichment activities for K-12 students to improve academic achievement and foster positive social and emotional development. In their 13th year, they now have nine program sites serving 406 students. REC’s expansion efforts include partnership with the RIO Coalition to get youth outdoors and involved in physical activity to improve both physical and mental health, and foster confidence and self-esteem.

The mission of STRiVE is to provide community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities and support for their families. Through their model of person-centered services, they help their clients strive to meet their full potential. Serving from birth to end of life, their programs include assessments, therapy, independent living support, employment training and job connections. STRiVE also has a shop on Main Street, Uniquely Yours, where shoppers can support their mission and purchase locally made items and other gifts. Our grant is to help with their capital campaign, Framing the Future, to purchase and occupy a larger, better equipped building to provide high quality medical services for their 900+ clients.

Finally, a grant to Colorado Public Radio will support expanded programming, including coverage of special topics and a reporting team on the Western Slope.

Click here to read the rest of the enews, written by Tedi Gillespie.