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Leaving a legacy doesn’t require wealth

Pat and Jerry Rickman have a list of reasons for having a charitable fund with the Community Foundation.

They want to use some of their retirement savings to support their favorite causes – including education for the very young and for young adults, as well as parks and green spaces in the Neenah area. Both have been very active community volunteers in those areas.

They are supporting those and many other causes through their Patricia and Gerald Rickman Charitable Fund. They also have made arrangements in their estate planning to count the community among their heirs and add to their fund after life.

With that future gift, they were able to join the Himebaugh Legacy Circle, a means for the Foundation to thank people for their after-lifetime gifts while they’re still here.

“It’s wanting to be part of a community within a community, trying to make things better and promote quality of life,” Jerry said. He added that the help they’ve gotten from the Community Foundation in planning their long-term giving has been informed, helpful and caring. “We’ve never been disappointed,” he said.

Pat said they hope adding their names to the nearly 200 Legacy Circle members will cause others to see that people who don’t qualify as wealthy can still leave a charitable legacy.

“Maybe that could inspire someone else to say, ‘I don’t have to have millions of dollars. I can do it with thousands, or even hundreds,’” Pat said.

Beyond all of that, they want to model charitable behavior for their children to establish their own charitable legacy or work in partnership with their parents, creating a legacy that is as much about family as finance.

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