Campaign celebrates impact, looks to future
As the Medina County Women's Endowment Fund approaches its 20th anniversary in 2018, fund leaders are celebrating this significant milestone with a campaign to grow the endowment for future generations.
The Legacy Tree of Giving Campaign aims to raise $104,000 to match the contributions of the fund's original donors, which would enable MCWEF to permanently increase its grantmaking to programs for women and children in Medina County.
"This campaign is an opportunity to celebrate the impact we've made in the community while securing the future for the next generation of women and children," said MCWEF President Mary Isaac.
Donors to the campaign are asked to make a gift of $1,200 – or $100 a month – to help the fund reach its goal. Already, nearly a dozen women have pledged their support, including Corinne Hadley, who learned about the campaign at the fund's Festival of Trees event last year.
Corinne, a Medina Township resident with deep roots in the community, was invited to the event by MCWEF board member Ellen Hunter, who served with her on the Medina Hospital Foundation Board.
"In addition to knowing of Corinne's long-time role as a philanthropist, I also knew of her substantial Christmas tree collection and thought she might enjoy attending our event to see the displays," Ellen explained.
It was a fitting invitation, as Corinne had first been introduced to the Medina County Women's Endowment Fund through its inaugural Festival of Trees event a decade earlier.
"I went to the very first one because my neighbors were involved, and I loved it," Corinne said.
Attending the event sparked Corinne's memory about the good work MCWEF was doing to support women and children in Medina County - a cause and community dear to her heart.
"I was there when it started, and I was just glad to see it was doing so well," Corinne recalled. "I realized I hadn't given anything in quite a while, and I'm very much interested in supporting this type of thing."
"I was not surprised by Corinne's decision, as she gives generously of her time and financial resources to support a variety of charitable causes," said Ellen. "But it was gratifying to know that she deemed the efforts of the Medina County Women's Endowment Fund worthy of her commitment."
After hearing about the Legacy Tree of Giving Campaign that evening, Corinne immediately decided to contribute. Upon the recommendation of her tax advisors, Corinne chose to make the gift through her IRA to avoid paying taxes on the distribution. With a charitable IRA rollover, donors like Corinne who are age 70 1/2 and older can support their favorite charities tax-free.
"Retirement distributions are one of the most highly taxed forms of income, so a charitable IRA rollover is a great way to leverage those assets," said MCWEF President Mary Isaac. "We are so excited Corinne decided to support our fund in this manner."
Beyond the tax benefits, Corinne said she's happy to support a cause that hits close to home.
"I live in Medina County, and it's important to me that we keep the money here," she said. "Women and children are our future, so I want to help them in every way I possibly can."
Corinne has a long history of supporting causes in Medina County, including Hospice of Medina County, Main Street Medina, ORMACO, Medina Rotary Club and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Now, in retirement, she enjoys more time with her grandchildren and is less active as a volunteer. By giving financially, she can continue to support her favorite nonprofits in a lasting way while passing the torch to the next generation.
"It's very important to have people that are interested in giving back and strengthening our community," Corinne said. "We need people like Ellen, who have their finger on the pulse of the community."
For her part, Ellen said she's just thankful for the opportunity to help others create a legacy that benefits women and children.
"The beauty of giving to an endowment fund is the legacy you leave," she said. "Corinne's gift, along with those of the other donors to our Legacy Tree campaign, will improve the lives of women and children in Medina County for generations to come."