On June 11, the Community Foundation honored over 120 local philanthropists during a luncheon at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Attendees were all members of the William Quarton Heritage Society, named in honor of local radio and television pioneer Bill Quarton, who passed away in 2007 and left a powerful legacy. Members of the Society have made permanent gifts to the Community Foundation through the establishment of endowed funds or planned gifts.
This year’s luncheon was led by Amy Lynch, Community Foundation Board Chair, and Les Garner, Community Foundation President & CEO. Besides celebrating the legacy of William Quarton Heritage Society members, the event also honored the philanthropic efforts of Darrell and Dorothy Fisher.
The Fishers have been Society members since 2013, when they decided to include the Community Foundation in their will. “We have some close friends whose son-in-law passed away,” Dorothy explained. “He had four daughters, and we wanted to help make sure they could pay for college when the time came.”
The Fishers planned to leave part of their estate to the young women to help with college expense. But when it came time for the oldest to graduate high school, the Fishers were alive and well. They honored the promise they had made to themselves by providing financial assistance, and that rewarding experience sparked another idea.
To ensure their legacy would support educational opportunities for students facing financial barriers, the Fishers used their required minimum IRA distributions to establish an endowed scholarship fund at the Community Foundation. “We hope to provide fifty percent of a student’s tuition for two years at Kirkwood Community College,” Darrell said. The fund supports students graduating from Marion and Prairie High Schools, the Fishers’ alma maters.
“By identifying opportunities for them to give within their lifetime, as well as through their estate plan, we’ve helped the Fishers realize a dream,” said Michelle Beisker, Senior Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation. “And by establishing an endowed fund, Darrell and Dorothy have built a legacy—one that will support students far into the future.”
The Fishers take comfort in knowing their fund will provide scholarships in perpetuity, and each spring they are excited to meet the graduating seniors that will benefit from their gift. “For this to come to fruition in our lifetime, rather than after we’ve passed, means so much to us,” Darrell said.
Watch below to be inspired by the philanthropic efforts of Darrell and Dorothy Fisher.