Surprise Support Comes to Children’s Mercy: Four Family Legacies
Legacy Donors Help Serve Generations of Children
Four family legacies—each bequeathing approximately $1 million—will make a substantial footprint on Children's Mercy. Serendipitously timed together, the gifts will have a broad reach.
"Philanthropy has a long and rich history in advancing the Children's Mercy mission," says Jenea Oliver, vice president of philanthropy. "These generous donations, which are not designated to a particular area of the hospital, allow us to continue to enhance pediatric health and deliver optimal patient outcomes because they go right to the heart of the institution…and from there to the areas where the need is most immediate, and sometimes urgent. The gifts make a difference in the quality of our day-to-day operations and also provide a margin of excellence that helps distinguish Children's Mercy from other children's hospitals."
A few hospital priorities that the gifts might fund include a new Echo machine for the NICU, upgrades to our Central Monitoring System and funds for pilot research studies that will eventually grow into projects attracting major federal grants.
Children's Mercy held a luncheon on Oct. 6 for the four trusts' professional advisors, who ensure the funds are handled properly. The funds are currently being distributed because all living beneficiaries have now passed away.
Here is a closer look at the four donors:
Frances Caldwell Ervin
Before Frances' death at the age of 99, she was a regular Children's Mercy donor—giving more than $10,000 to the hospital. Children's Mercy received approximately 20 percent of her trust. Other beneficiaries include The Salvation Army and City Union Mission among others. Frances was a resident of Liberty, Missouri. Frances and her husband, Guy L. Caldwell, were the founders of Guy's Potato Chips.
Jack and Mildred Young
The Youngs were farmers just south of Gallatin, Missouri. Mildred died in 1991 and Jack passed away in 1999; they had no children. All the terms of their trusts have recently been fulfilled and the estates are now ready to be settled. The bulk of the Youngs' estate is in farmland, which totals more than 600 acres, and a recent appraisal shows its worth to be approximately $3.4 million. The farmland will soon sell at public auction with Children's Mercy splitting the proceeds with the North Central Missouri College Foundation and the United Methodist Foundation.
A resident of Overland Park, Kansas, Henry passed away last year at age 97. With the exception of a $50 donation to the Cancer Center in 2002, he doesn't appear to have any other connection with Children's Mercy. Yet Henry named Children's Mercy as beneficiary to half his trust. The other half will go to City Union Mission.
The DeLappe family—Solomon, his wife, Isadore, and their daughter, Betty Jo—of Pittsburg, Kansas, have all passed away. Children's Mercy is the sole residuary beneficiary under this trust. Like the other three trusts, the donation represents an unrestricted gift to the hospital.
"At Children's Mercy, we have the best minds and talent in pediatric medicine," Jenea says. "And, we rely on community support to provide ever more advanced, innovative treatment options for our patients. We are thankful for the generous hearts of the Ervin, Basler, Young and DeLappe families and their foresight. We so wish we would have known of their planned generosity during their lifetimes so that we could have said thank you and learned about their connections to our hospital. I can imagine they each had a heartwarming story of why they chose to leave their legacy with the children of Children's Mercy."