A recent million-dollar bequest to the Community Foundation created two endowed funds: one awarded $4,500 in scholarships this summer to students in West York and the other will provide grants to 10 nonprofits this fall. The Richard L. Beck Fund and the Richard Lee Beck Fund were established through a bequest from the estate of Richard Lee Beck in 2013 and will support the community in perpetuity. Because a bequest is fulfilled after someone’s lifetime, it is an easy way to create a self-designed legacy and plan for future charitable giving.
A bequest to the Community Foundation can be created at any time during a person’s lifetime and means that an individual has included the Community Foundation in their estate planning. The steps Mr. Beck took toward creating his bequest began with a visit to the Community Foundation in 1998. He worked diligently with Eugene Struckhoff, the former executive director of development for the Community Foundation, as well as his attorney John Stitt, to design an estate plan that truly met his needs. Mr. Beck’s reliance on Mr. Stitt for his estate planning needs led to a long lasting relationship between Mr. Stitt and the Community Foundation. In 2013, Mr. Stitt was inducted into the Community Foundation’s Professional Advisor Recognition Society, which recognizes attorneys, accountants, financial planners, estate planners and wealth advisors for their commitment to the community and their work to encourage philanthropy.
“We are humbled to know that Mr. Beck held the Community Foundation in such high esteem,” said Bill Hartman, president of the Community Foundation. “His gift reflects many things: his love for his community, his passion to support education and healthcare, as well as his trust in the Community Foundation to provide lasting stewardship of his legacy.”
Mr. Beck’s gift to the Community Foundation through his will means that he will be inducted into the Foundation’s 1749 Society. The 1749 Society, which was named for the year in which York County was founded, was created to recognize those individuals whose estate planning includes a gift to the Community Foundation. In 2013, there were 273 1749 Society members and nearly $7.8 million in legacy gifts received.
About the Beck Funds
The Richard L. Beck Fund will focus on providing scholarships to students at West York Area High School who are majoring in applied sciences or engineering. Mr. Beck, a graduate of West York, believed firmly in supporting education and opportunities for students to advance academically. The scholarships will be awarded through The Foundation for the West York Area School District, Inc., formerly the West York Area Dollars for Scholars Chapter. Mr. Beck’s generosity increases the capacity of the Foundation to award scholarships by 30%.
Because Mr. Beck understood the importance of charitable giving, the Richard Lee Beck Fund will support 10 charitable organizations, many of which are local chapters of national nonprofits. One of his priorities was his church, St. James Lutheran Church in West York. In addition, the Richard Lee Beck Fund will provide grants to many health-related organizations: the American Cancer Society; the American Heart Association; the American Parkinson Disease Association; Memorial Health Systems; American Red Cross, York County Chapter; The Salvation Army; Children’s Miracle Network; St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Inc.; and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia.