Planting Pits for Tomorrow: An Explanation of an Endowment Fund
By Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
Years ago, while I was still President of Cornell College, a good friend of the College, Marie Carter, gave me some peaches grown on her farm in Bettendorf. She encouraged me to plant the pits that autumn to try to grow my own peach trees. I duly planted the pits, and in the spring, I had three peach seedlings, which I planted on my farm near Ely. I have had the pleasure of watching those trees grow and flourish. Some 20 feet tall, they now generate hundreds of peaches every year. What’s more, I have planted pits from those peaches and grown more than 20 new seedlings, some of which I have planted on the farm and some of which I have given away.
An endowment gift, no matter how small, is like one of those delicious Iowa peaches. It brings pleasure in the present, and when invested wisely, will grow and produce income forever, providing benefits to its community in perpetuity.