Giving a hallmark of PMMA’s history

We often recall the story of Alice Kalb, who at 90 traveled to a 1947 Presbyterian Synod meeting to ask for a retirement community in Kansas.

According to Edwin Shafer, senior vice president of development, what Mrs. Kalb basically told the Synod was: “If I give you all that money I have, will you build a home for the aging?” Her heart-felt offer symbolized the plight of a growing number of elderly in need of the church’s help. Kalb’s initiative led a farmer from Wakarusa, Kan., to bequeath his farm to the new project. The sale of that land provided the funds to buy the building that would be Newton Presbyterian Manor.

Today, philanthropy at PMMA is evidenced through community partnerships, capital campaigns, Good Samaritan Program giving, special projects campaigns and planned giving.

Many of PMMA’s 18 communities were opened with the help of local fundraising campaigns, including donations of land for the Clay Center, Fort Scott, Olathe and Topeka locations, and coalitions of citizens, churches and business leaders raising money, as with the Dodge City, Emporia, Parsons and Rolla locations.

Through the years, capital campaigns have enabled PMMA communities to continue to meet local needs, through expanding services and remodeling campuses. Over the past eight years, Shafer said, there have been four capital campaigns.

Ark City added a memory care assisted living neighborhood, Clay Center added health care rooms and space for dining and activities. Newton created several neighborhoods at the health care level, Rolla added assisted living rooms and a community meeting room.

Good Samaritan Program

PMMA’s Good Samaritan benevolent care program provides close to $4 million a year to touch the lives of about 400 residents, Shafer said. Mailings are sent out twice a year to friends of the program. The Good Samaritan Program allows residents to continue to live at their PMMA campus even after they have exhausted their financial resources.

A similar mail solicitation is conducted in late summer/early fall to benefit the Employee Scholarship Fund, which reimburses employees for tuition for approved classes.

Some campuses have special event fundraising programs, usually benefitting each campus’ Good Samaritan program.

Special projects

Presbyterian Manor communities have other events and efforts to raise money for special projects, often suggested and spearheaded by residents.

A couple of months ago, for example Lawrence’s soft-serve ice cream machine, donated to the Manor 15 years ago, could no longer be repaired. So residents kicked off a campaign to raise the money for a replacement. In a matter of two weeks, they reached the $15,000 goal.

Planned giving

“We promote gifts through wills and trusts as a way of someone paying it forward,” Shafer said. Wills and trusts have resulted in millions of dollars given to PMMA through the years. All of those funds are invested in the communities, he said. Donors may designate which location will benefit.

“Seventeen of our 18 communities have benefitted from estate gifts,” Shafer said.

“Even our newest campus, Aberdeen Heights, already has individuals who are including the campus in their estate plans.”

Shafer said one of the most popular estate planning gifts is the charitable gift annuity. It is referred to as a “life income gift.” Because the donor receives income for his or her lifetime at a specified percentage based on the donor’s age at the time the gift is made. Donors for these programs must be at least 65. Generally, older donors will receive a higher return rate, Shafer said. For more information about Planned Giving, contact Shafer at [email protected] or call 800-336-8511