When Dr. Leo Rogers was a boy near Pretty Prairie in the 1920s, he could only have imagined that he’d be a war hero and pioneer in orthodontics, flying from office to office. He surely didn’t know the impact his legacy would have on others.
During his life, Dr. Rogers spent time and resources supporting the community, the arts and education, both locally at Hutchinson Community College and in his field at the UMKC School of Dentistry.
He and Dr. Helen Weeks Rogers met when they built cabins next door to each other in 1950 at Kanopolis lake, and they later married after retirements from orthodontics and the music faculty at HCC, respectively. Their mutual passion for education and love of their hometown community led them to establish an endowed donor advised fund through Hutchinson Community Foundation.
In 2006 when Leo passed away, the Leo A. & Helen Weeks Rogers Endowed Fund was fully funded with a bequest from his trust. Since that time, Helen has made grants worth more than $270,000 from the income of the fund. The principle balance has grown–even with a major recession in 2008 and 2009.
What does it mean to endow? It means we designate the original gift as untouchable, and we only make grants from the income. It not only gives our community a nest egg, but over time it generates more grant money than the original gift amount.