KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Reed and Carolee Walker Fund
This year OCF is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sharing stories about the spirit of generosity in Oregon. This is Part IX in a series from KOBI TV's "Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community" series. View the series.
KOBI: Only on five, some of the most recognized non-profit groups in Southern Oregon got their start with the help of huge donations from a special fund. You're about to find out how the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund has made a dramatic difference in Southern Oregon. Here's another Spirit of Community Moment.
KOBI: Reed and Carolee Walker were big supporters of programs that dramatically bettered the lives of children in Southern Oregon. Thanks to some wise investing in a popular beer company, Reed Walker started the foundation with the largest single gift, at the time, to any public foundation in Oregon.
Lyn Hennion: He ended up giving 29 point something million dollars worth of the Anheuser-Busch stock to the Oregon Community Foundation for the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund.
KOBI: Lyn Hennion is a former board member of Oregon Community Foundation, and former chairperson of the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund. She says The Walker Fund has supported about one hundred local non-profits.
LH: There are organizations in town that say they would not be, they could not be where they are without the help of The Walker Fund.
KOBI: Among the local organizations that are thriving because of grants from The Walker Fund are La Clinica, Access, Rogue Community Health, St. Vincent de Paul and Kids Unlimited.
Tom Cole: The gamut of things that The Walker Fund has been, has been everything from after school to holistic family integration projects.
KOBI: Tom Cole is the Executive Director of Kids Unlimited in Medford.
TC: You know I saw that there was a huge need for developing opportunities for kids that were in underserved communities and that really became the foundation for creating the first after school program. The unique thing about The Walker Fund is that they've been very strategic about how to lift vulnerable communities and organizations serving those, and you know their investments have also helped to create a whole different landscape for our entire community.
KOBI: If you’d like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at https://oregoncf.org/50.