Betty Rogstad's Gift

Posted: January 21, 2013

Did you see this news? Earlier this spring, representatives of 10 Eau Claire non-profits gathered to meet friends of Betty Rogstad, who created an estate that will have a great impact on these groups and their services to the region. Just before the meeting, each organization received a check for $75,000. That made for quite a day at the Chippewa Valley Museum! (The other Eau Claire organizations are: Bolton Refuge House, Feed My People, the Free Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith Hospitality Network, L.E. Phillips Senior Center, Literacy Volunteers, Sacred Heart Hospital and Salvation Army.)

Betty Rogstad taught kindergarten at Longfellow for a very long time. Some years, she had 33 children in the morning and 33 in the afternoon. You probably know someone who was her student. She loved chocolate so much that she and a friend once traveled to Pennsylvania to see the Hershey plant.

Betty Rogstad had been a member of the museum since 1984. We did not know of her intent to make the museum a beneficiary of her will but will do our best to deserve it. Unless the donor has specified another specific use, we send bequests to the museum foundation for investment. As a result, the donor's generosity lives on.

When the Rogstad estate is final, the total bequest to CVM will probably be $90,000-$100,000. What difference could that make as an endowment? As it happens, in recent planning, we studied the average amount needed annually for maintenance or replacement of major equipment. Not a big project. Just the constant effort required to keep up with wear-and-tear. In the past ten years, those costs had averaged $6,000 per year. A well-invested $100,000 endowment would go a long way towards meeting those yearly repair-and-replace costs. And, there would always be source of income to cover such expenses, increasing the stability of the museum.

That's just one possibility. The average return on a $50,000 fund would cover all the supplies and materials used in taking care of the museum collections for a year. Investment of a $10,000 fund could support most of the summer Kaleidoscope programs.

Have you thought about supporting the museum with an endowment gift, either now or as a part of your estate planning? There are a variety of possibilities, including life memberships and named funds. If you would like more information about that, please contact me at 715-834-7871 or for more information.

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