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Stories of Giving

People making a difference in the lives of others today and for generations to come. What will be your story?

Community deserves its own inheritance

We just feel that these are blessings that should be shared.

Jon and Becky Stellmacher live their lives with a commitment to charitable giving. As they worked on updating their estate planning over the past year, they would do no less.

Describing the provisions they have made for their charitable family endowment fund – the Becky and Jon Stellmacher Family Fund, established through the Community Foundation in 2003 – Jon said they approached it as if the community were an extra child that they also wanted to share in their legacy.

“This has always been a part of our plan,” Becky said.

The couple also plans to establish new funds to support health and human services causes in their childhood communities of Seymour and Black Creek and nonprofits serving children and youth in Appleton. They also support regional and global causes through their church.

Charitable giving is the right response to living in a great community, the Stellmachers said.

“We just feel that these are blessings that should be shared,” said Jon, the retired executive vice president for Thrivent Financial and a member of the Community Foundation board.

Jon and Becky, a counselor and former teacher, are members of the Himebaugh Legacy Circle, which the Foundation uses to thank people now for gifts they plan to give after life. It also informs others about people who plan to support the Foundation in this way.

“We’ve always struggled a little bit with receiving recognition. That’s not the motivation at all,” Jon said. But he took the advice of fellow retired Thrivent executive Walt Rugland, who told him they can provide additional help by letting it be known that they support a particular organization.

The Stellmachers said their work with the Community Foundation in shaping their estate plan, “from start to finish involved entirely professional and knowledgeable people,” evoking confidence that the Foundation can be trusted to handle their giving when they are no longer here.

Learn more about the Himebaugh Legacy Circle