Samuel W. White Jr.s gift to PCCF

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, June 24, 2010

What a wonderful feeling it must be to have a large sum of money to give to your community. Samuel W. White Jr. enjoyed that special warm feeling for decades. As he explained in a letter to the Polk County Community Foundation in 1992, When I was a director of Central and South West Corp. in Dallas, Tx., I was offered an unusual gift. The company purchased a [large] life policy on me. At the time of my death, I am permitted to have [the insurance proceeds] distributed to the not-for-profit organizations of my choice in Polk County.

White chose the Polk County Community Foundation as the beneficiary of his gift. With typical Sam White humor, he stated, The date is a little doubtful so dont book it as an asset just yet!

White died February 15, 2010, but he leaves many legacies to our community, including a generous endowment fund to benefit our community in perpetuity. He had fun over the years contemplating the many possible directives to the foundation regarding the use of this asset.

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The new Samuel and Stephanie White Fund is an unrestricted, permanent endowment fund which shall contribute a percentage of its assets every year to the budget for the foundations unrestricted grantmaking. Grant recommendations shall be made by the Unrestricted Grants Committee based on written applications, interviews and a voting system that enables each volunteer member of the committee have a voice in the grant recommendations. As with all competitive grants, the board of the Polk County Community Foundation makes the final grant decisions and confirms that the grants were awarded in a fair process based on the donors criteria.

Many local organizations have benefited over the years from Whites gifts of time, talent and enthusiasm. The Polk County Community Foundation was fortunate to have him serve a term as a director starting in 1986 and as the chairman in 1990 and 1991. He valued and actively contributed to the Congregational Church, St. Lukes Hospital Foundation, the Tryon Fine Arts Center, FENCE, Pacolet Area Conservancy, Hospice of the Carolina Foothills and the Community Foundation. He was pleased that his legacy gift would benefit all of these organizations and asked that these groups be given preference when applying for unrestricted grants funded by the Samuel and Stephanie White Fund.

When White announced his intentions, he wrote, We think this will be a more effective way to support your groups operations in the future. This is a win-win situation. Im proud to have this opportunity to participate in the recognition of the superb quality of life which we all enjoy in this community.