The Loma Prietan - May/June 2009

Creating a Legacy of Environmental Protection

by Melissa Hippard

Chapter Director

The Loma Prieta Chapter has been extremely fortunate to have a few members provide for the long term well-being of the Chapter through planned giving. In the early 1980s the wills of sisters Emily and Elizabeth Smith created an endowment for the Chapter that has provided about $12,000 annually. This money is the base for funding our conservation activities, including stopping the high speed rail project from bisecting Henry Coe State Park and protecting Bay wetlands from development.

In 2004 the Chapter received two substantial bequests, one from long-time member Marion Fox ($147,000) and the other from a more recent member, Guy Graveline ($204,000). The Fox estate funds were pooled with existing reserves, and our leadership chose to fund several years of our highly successful Global Warming Program, which to date has created 19 Cool Cities teams, convinced 23 cities to sign the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and move forward on commitments to reduce their carbon footprint, and involved hundreds of members in taking local action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Graveline funds were used to increase the Chapter's support for general membership activities, such as our Third Tuesday member socials, 75th Anniversary celebration and bi-annual volunteer appreciation events. We have also invested in our development program.

It is easy to follow these generous members' example and help the Chapter to protect our local environment in perpetuity. Planned giving is one of the most powerful ways for an individual or family to help create a lasting benefit for the wildlife, the land and the people in Silicon Valley. It is really simple to do, but it is critical that you specify in your trust or will that the Loma Prieta Chapter is your intended beneficiary.