As noted in our 2018 Memorial Gift listing, we received three bequests last year. Most bequests received by us are undesignated as to purpose. When these gifts are received the church policy is to divide them as follows: 60% to the Unrestricted Endowment; 10% to the General Mission Endowment; 20% to Unrestricted Reserves; and 10% to General Mission Reserves. The gifts from Barbara Williams ($300,000) and William Matthewson ($10,000) were divided according to this policy.
The bequest from Marion Bonnell was specific as to purpose and placement. Marion, who spent most of her life confined to a wheelchair, was a champion of building improvement and maintenance. Her desire was that the gift she would give us would be used for those purposes. As Marion had no immediate family, it was also important to her an Endowment be established to honor her family name.
Marion and I had several wonderful conversations over the years. The most poignant was when Marion shared with me how she felt the day she first came to worship with us and was able to wheel herself up the ramp into the sanctuary for worship without any assistance. She loved our historic building, and was thrilled it was available barrier-free to all.
In late 2017 the Trustees became aware the slate roof on both the sanctuary and chapel had reached the end of their useful lives. As no dedicated funds were available, they were considering various financing options. On February 2, 2018 Marion passed away, and we were advised of her significant bequest to the church.
Thanks to Marion’s generosity the church was able to apply approximately $300,000 of her gift to cover the cost of the entire roofing project, and to establish The Bonnell Family Endowment with approximately $115,000. When the estate filing is complete, the final payment will be added to the endowment and will be available to improve and maintain our buildings and grounds for all time. Marion’s desire has been fulfilled.