01 Aug Foundation announces receipt of $2 million
Hutchinson Community Foundation announces the receipt of gifts totaling $2 million.
Through a $1.1 million endowed gift from the Arthur R. and Margery A. Eveland Fund, the Evelands will perpetually help support The Salvation Army of Hutchinson, the Reno County Food Bank, the Christian Soup Ministry and Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County.
The Evelands also left a portion of their estate to Trinity United Methodist Church. The $255,000 donation will go into funds held in perpetuity at the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation and will support Trinity’s ministries, operations and property upgrades, according to Tod Ritcha, Trinity United Methodist Church Endowment Foundation Board of Trustees chairman.
“It’s very much appreciated,” Ritcha said. “The endowment fund helps with many aspects of our church. We’re very appreciative of the gift they gave that will benefit the church for years to come.”
Originally from Nebraska, the Evelands moved to Hutchinson after Art’s service as a corpsman with the 4th Marine Division during World War II. They began Art Eveland Photography, and the business became a regional draw for portrait, event and commercial photography. The couple joined Trinity United Methodist Church on May 18, 1952.
The pair lived modestly, and they quietly gave wherever they saw a need – be it canned-good donations to the Reno County Food Bank, clothing to high school students in need or paying for their church’s kitchen renovation.
“They’d do anything you asked. … They were just kind people,” said longtime friend John Summervill, of Hutchinson.
The Evelands retired in 1986. Art died Nov. 7, 2017, at age 94, and Margery passed away Feb. 21, 2018, at age 91.
Additionally, Hutchinson Community Foundation received nearly $900,000 from the estate of Avory and Lois Johnson, longtime Hutchinson business owners and active community volunteers.
The Johnsons’ fund will support First Call for Help, The Salvation Army of Hutchinson, the Cosmosphere and the Reno County Emergency Energy Fund. The largest portion of the gift will create an endowed fund to support emergency medical services and training of students to become EMTs or paramedics in Reno County.
They served The Salvation Army for many years – both as volunteers and Lois as a board member – and Avory volunteered at the Cosmosphere helping restore the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft.
“The Johnson gift is very important to the Cosmosphere. Through gifts like this, the Cosmosphere can continue to grow its educational offerings, exhibit experiences and endowment,” Jim Remar, Cosmosphere president and CEO, said.
The couple grew up in the Arkansas City area. Avory served in the Air Force during the early 1950s in Korea and Texas as an instructor and aircraft mechanic. Eventually, the couple settled in Nickerson and operated AVS Camper Center for 36 years, retiring in 1997. Avory died Aug. 22, 2013 at age 83, and Lois passed away July 12, 2017 at age 85.
The exact dollar amounts each organization will receive from the estates have not been finalized. Organizations will be informed when those details are available.
“We are humbled to receive these gifts and honored to serve as steward of the Evelands’ and Johnsons’ charitable legacies. Over the years ahead, their final gifts will touch many lives,” Aubrey Abbott Patterson, Hutchinson Community Foundation president and CEO, said.