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Grand Chute Couple Invests in the Future

Larry Sawyer and Debra McDowall have high hopes that the Fox Valley remains strong and vibrant, especially for the next generation.

“We do feel we owe our community a debt of gratitude, as it has been so kind to us,” says Larry, who married Debra 40 years ago. The retirees live in Grand Chute and have an adult daughter, Caroline.

The two began their relationship with the Community Foundation in 2003, and established the Sawyer Family Fund, a donor advised endowment fund to benefit their many charitable interests in organizations supporting the arts, environment, and especially education opportunities for young people. A few years later Debra’s father passed away and left them some money, so the two looked into scholarship funds.

“In many of my graduate school science classes, I was the only female, and so I felt very passionate about trying to do something for a future generation of women in science,” says Debra.

Thus was born the Women in Science Scholarship Fund, available to female seniors graduating from Appleton, Menasha or Neenah schools who plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in science, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology or mathematics.

Because their funds will continue to strengthen the community after their lifetimes, Larry and Debra are members of our Himebaugh Legacy Circle, a group of more than 250 members recognized and celebrated by the Community Foundation for supporting their favorite charitable causes or future community needs through an estate or other planned gift to the Community Foundation.

“We want to help people in the future, after we’re gone, and feel it’s important to give beyond our immediate family,” says Debra.

You can make an impact on the people and projects that matter to you long after you are no longer here. The Himebaugh Legacy Circle recognizes those who have made future plans for their favorite charitable causes through a bequest or similar deferred gift to the Foundation.

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