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Gift establishes endowment fund - Provides for Pilgrim Heights future

Anonymous Donor Gives $100,000

May 16, 2013
By Allen Ricks - Outreach Coordinator, Tama County Community Foundation , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Tama County Community Foundation an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, is pleased to announce that an anonymous, $100,000 gift has been received to establish a permanent endowment fund to benefit Our Sacred Space, Inc., also known as Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, located near Montour. This gift is intended to encourage other donors to help build a secure, lasting future for this unique place where children, youth, and adults can reconnect with nature and experience the spirituality that grows from the natural beauty of this area.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, has long involvement with Pilgrim Heights and feels that experiences during summer camp as a child and at year-round retreats as an adult were extremely formative. The donor wishes now to give back in a way that continues to encourage life-shaping programming in a well-maintained setting. The endowment fund will continue in perpetuity, with only the annual proceeds from the fund being used for programming or building and grounds improvements.

As an added benefit, the donor qualified for a 25 % state tax credit through the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program in addition to the normal federal deductions for charitable giving. Iowa legislation supporting charitable gifts to community foundations has greatly increased the donative power of charitable gifts, resulting in even more impact for the charitable programs and projects in Iowa.

Ann Graham, the Executive Director of Our Sacred Space, states that this gift marks the next level of organizational maturity for Our Sacred Space, Inc. (OSS). Founded in October 2007, OSS purchased Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center from the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2008 to ensure continued provision of outdoor recreation, education and renewal services (both faith based and secular) to individuals, families, faith communities, businesses, educational institutions and other non-profit organizations. During our first 5 years, we've built a solid infrastructure, recently achieving American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation in 2012. The establishment of this endowment fund gives donors an opportunity to leave a legacy - to ensure future pilgrims have a place at The Heights to forget their day-to-day obligations and refocus on their journey through life in:

action at Camp

reflection during Retreat

community at Celebrations.

The Board of Directors of Our Sacred Space, in accepting the gift and creating the endowment fund through TCCF, recognized that the county's Community Foundation would be an ideal steward of the fund. Not only will the gift be secure and well-maintained through the years, it will be locally administered, in keeping with hopes and intentions of the donor and the OSS Board. Working in conjunction with TCCF, the OSS Board is planning an event that will celebrate this gift while inviting others to consider enlarging the permanent endowment. To find out more about how and why to give, go to www.cfneia.org/Give/ListOfEstablishedFunds and search for 'Pilgrim Heights'.

TCCF has been created by and for the people of Tama County. The Community Foundation's main goals are to support charitable projects and programs in Tama County, to attract additional funds, and to assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within Tama County.

For more information about the Tama County Community Foundation, contact the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa at (319) 287-9106 or Rick Krug, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation at (319) 478-2148.

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