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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?

Seasonal Floridians feel debt to Valley

Life’s been good to me so I should give like my parents did.

Elaine Ven Rooy and Don Ristau may spend the cold months in Florida now, but they feel they owe a debt to the Fox Valley.

Partners for 33 years, both grew up in the Kaukauna area. When Elaine’s family farm sold, she decided she would use some of the money to give back.

“I thought, life’s been good to me so I should give like my parents did,” she said. “Mother and dad were always very charitable.”

Elaine and Don decided to do their giving through a charitable fund in their names at the Community Foundation.

“I think the Community Foundation has the knowledge to distribute the money more wisely. I think they have a wealth of knowledge there,” she said.

The giving will continue even when Elaine and Don aren’t around to do it. Their revocable trust – after first taking care of extended family – calls for a gift to be made to their fund and grants distributed in accordance with their wishes.

Having planned for that gift, they chose to become members of the Himebaugh Legacy Circle, which recognizes people while they still can appreciate it for gifts to the Community Foundation planned after death.

“We have a lot of faith in the Community Foundation,” she said, “and there’s no better place to put it.”