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 Zest for Life Fills Nelson’s Days


A love of people, a curious mind and an appreciation for a little fun describe her essence, says Betty M. Nelson. All three infuse her undertakings—from her Purdue University career to a retirement packed with volunteer service. To every endeavor, she takes focus, energy, efficiency, and respect for others.

“People are really important to me. They inspire me,” she says. As for curiosity, “It enriches life phenomenally. It causes me to see things and wonder.”

In the community, she has devoted time to The Community Foundation, serving two six-year terms on the board and volunteering on the grants and the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship committees. Currently, she gives time to the development committee and participates in 100+ Women Who Care.

Her gifts to The Foundation include a will bequest, charitable gift annuity, and an endowment for literacy, inspired by fellow elementary school students who struggled with reading because they could attend school only when it was their turn to wear the family shoes.

Giving and volunteering for The Community Foundation was “an easy call for me,” Nelson says. “It’s a working board, and I like that. I believe in the quality and integrity of the leadership, professionals who stay true to their mission, and they manage their money—our money—well.”

Bowman, Tompkins Help Kids

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In her career and volunteer work, Linda Bowman has seen many children in need. In the years after his wife died in 1981, Glenn Tompkins and his children learned how much community means. Their separate experiences fueled the two, now life partners, to establish The Linda Bowman and Glenn Tompkins Children’s Endowment. It will help organizations that serve children who have been abused, neglected, or are in foster care. “It’s the faces, I can’t get them out of my mind,” Bowman says of children in need. Her career included posts at Visiting Nurse Service, Arnett Clinic, and Purdue University. Tompkins was motivated by gratitude. “When I lost my wife, people came out of the woodwork to help us.” His 40-year career has been in Purdue business administration. Trust influenced their decision to establish an endowment at The Community Foundation. “I like their process,” Tompkins says. Bowman adds, “I appreciate their strong fiduciary responsibility. And they make educated decisions based on needs.”


Riggs: Lifetime of Caring


While “compassion,” “generous,” and “vision” describe Wendell A. Riggs, M.D., an Arnett Clinic pediatrician from 1963 to 1998, who passed away in 2013, “persistent” might be the top choice. He doggedly pursued resources to establish a community health clinic that was renamed the Riggs Community Health Center in his honor in 2009. His wife, Eleanor, also recalls his persistence in pursing her. Although she turned him down for high school dates, she acquiesced when they were college age. They married and raised three sons. Eleanor was involved in sports, teaching, and political activities; Wendell was a pediatrician, county health officer and advocate for those in need. Throughout, they helped many, and the generosity continued in Wendell’s will with a bequest to The Community Foundation to benefit the Health Center. “He wanted to be sure the clinic had the money to keep going,” Eleanor says. “He was always interested in taking care of others.”


Funding for Hearing Loop Systems


While hearing aids help many, they’re not always adequate in public and other large areas. A hearing loop system, installed in such facilities, can help. But they can be costly for nonprofits. Thanks to the generosity of Mary Caccavo and her husband, Tom Kent, who established an endowment with The Community Foundation, local nonprofits can apply for matching grants for public venues. “The location is looped, so you can hear the presenter, but not babies crying or other noise,” Caccavo says. The endowment is a natural for Caccavo, an audiologist who established Lafayette Hearing Center in 1987. “This community embraced me from day one,” she says, making the endowment a way to give back. “Why just help one when you can help 1,000 at a time?” asks Kent, who retired two years ago from UPS and now enjoys gardening, woodworking, and shepherding their two teenaged children.



Generosity on Bauers’ Menu

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Helping youth is an ongoing commitment for Roger and Cathy Bauer, who operate area Subway restaurants. Their latest effort: Establishing the Cathy and Roger Bauer Family Endowment with The Community Foundation. It will benefit local children by continuing their long tradition of hosting the Lafayette Area Subway Annual Holiday Party for 100 youths, held each December, or used to help kids in other ways. “That’s really the whole purpose,” Cathy says. The couple met as co-workers at a Connecticut hospital, went on to be teachers, then Roger entered radio sales and management, which brought them to Lafayette in 1983. Cathy launched a Subway franchise the next year, and Roger later joined her. Today, the Bauers employ about 250 at 17 restaurants in Tippecanoe County, two in Monticello and one each in Delphi and Rensselaer. Throughout their lives, helping children has been their mantra. “I’m very keen on giving back,” Cathy says.




The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette
300 Main Street, Suite 100
Lafayette, IN 47901

Phone (765) 742-9078
Fax (765) 742-2428

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