Hoffman estate gives $92,000 to Rotary

Scholarship fund reaps latest in a long line of family’s gifts

Teunis Wyers, right, announces the news about the Hoffman gift last week at Rotary. At center is Craig Sheppard, who administers the Rotary Foundation Scholarship Fund, and at left is Rotary president Bob Francis.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Teunis Wyers, right, announces the news about the Hoffman gift last week at Rotary. At center is Craig Sheppard, who administers the Rotary Foundation Scholarship Fund, and at left is Rotary president Bob Francis.

The Hood River Rotary just received a $92,381.45 boost to its scholarship fund, thanks to a trust set up in the early 1990s by Bernice Jackson Hoffman of Pine Grove.

Attorney Teunis J. Wyers shared the news with Rotary members during the group’s Feb. 28 meeting.

Hoffman hired Wyers to help plan her estate. At the time, she made a modest donation to the Hood River Rotary, he said, but she also created a separate educational trust for the benefit of five grand-nieces and -nephews. Wyers suggested any unused funds be given to the Hood River Rotary scholarship fund.

“She liked the idea, so that’s what we put in the trust,” said Wyers. “It provided that each beneficiary could apply for college funding up to age 30, and any amount that wasn’t spent when each child reached age 30 would go to Rotary.”

The oldest beneficiary celebrated her 30th birthday last December, and Wyers ordered a check for what was left of her fund, which he presented at the meeting.

There is a possibility the scholarship will increase again next month, when the next-oldest child turns 30. “Her fund has in excess of $100,000 in it,” said Wyers. “We may end doubling the fund by the time it’s done.”

The gifts are not the first from the Hoffman estate. Before her death in 1994, Hoffman arranged with Wyers to give Rotary $15,000; $37,157 was sent to Hood River County Museum and a $16,244 gift was presented to the Pine Grove Fire Department.

Hoffman also gave gifts of $16,244 to Nature Conservancy and $15,000 to both Oregon Public Broadcasting and Odell United Methodist Church.

Hoffman died in a Sept. 5, 1994, automobile accident on Fir Mountain Road after suffering an apparent heart attack, according to the Hood River News of Sept. 7, 1994. She was 88.

Hoffman was profiled in a number of articles in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s for her philanthropy and her work with the Hood River Historical Society. Her grandfather, Capt. Francis Jackson, was one of the early settlers on the east side of the Hood River valley.

The land was the first in the county to be declared a Century Farm, in 1974.

The trust agreement does have some conditions in it, but Wyers said that it does not seem to be limited to graduates or residents of Hood River.

While primarily a loan fund for post-graduate work, the Rotary has the authority to distribute the money into the scholarship fund with a unanimous vote.

“I was a member of the Hood River Rotary when she hired me to do the work, but I’ve since transferred to the Bingen-White Salmon club,” said Wyers.

“It’s a real treat for me to do this because I remember going to Portland with the Hood River Rotarians to peddle apples to raise funds for scholarships. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work at $20 a box.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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