Rae Owens establishes charitable foundation to leave a legacy to L’Arche

Imagine if, instead of one charitable bond paying out $20,000 per year, that there were 10 charitable bonds in place, or 100 bonds in place — imagine the difference such planned generosity could make to our community, to the organizations and folks that need a helping hand from those of us than can afford to do more.

These L'Arche Comox Valley clients will benefit from planned giving.

These L'Arche Comox Valley clients will benefit from planned giving.

Rae Owens had a dream.

And Rae’s dream has resulted in a wonderful breakthrough for planned giving in the Valley.

Rae and John Owens moved to the Valley in 2004 from Lethbridge, Alta., to become co-executive directors of L’Arche Comox Valley. For years, they lived and breathed and loved the organization that creates homes and day programs with people who have developmental disabilities.

Unfortunately, John passed away suddenly in February 2009 and left a great void. Everyone involved with L’Arche, especially the adults in the program, had grown to love John very much, from spending time together — they missed him a great deal.

Rae finished out the year in the position, and retired in December of that year. Rae left the position, but her heart never left. She continues to be a confirmed member of the L’Arche community.

Rae wanted to do something for this wonderful organization, and for John.

Her dream was to leave a legacy to L’Arche, but also to maximize and multiply that legacy.

Rae and I, her certified financial planner, began to consider options to make that dream become a reality.

After first ensuring that Rae’s financial future was totally secure, I presented different scenarios for consideration:

• A simple donation each year;

• A charitable bond that would provide a large lump sum to L’Arche on Rae’s death; or

• The creation of a charitable foundation with significant annual distributions in perpetuity.

The best choice for Rae’s situation and goals was to establish a new charitable foundation — the Rae and John Owens Foundation. The foundation will, once the assets in the account reach $25,000, begin to distribute an annual amount to the charity of Rae’s choice (L’Arche Comox Valley). The distributions will last in perpetuity.

The real breakthrough with Rae’s foundation is that she applied for, and was approved for, a charitable giving bond. Rae has transferred the ownership of the bond to her foundation. On Rae’s death, the substantial value of the bond will dramatically increase annual distributions by $20,000 or more.

Rae’s goal of providing a regular income for L’Arche Comox Valley is well on the way, but not quite complete. The bond will provide a great income stream once Rae is gone, but the foundation has to reach the $25,000 level to get distributions started.

To date, donors have begun the climb to $25,000, but there is a long way to go. If you would like to donate, contact Christine Monier, L’Arche Comox Valley executive director, at 250-334-8320.

The final part of Rae’s goal is that her initiative will encourage others to review their financial situation and consider one of many strategies to help their favourite charity.

Imagine if, instead of one charitable bond paying out $20,000 per year, that there were 10 charitable bonds in place, or 100 bonds in place — imagine the difference such planned generosity could make to our community, to the organizations and folks that need a helping hand from those of us than can afford to do more.

And finally, thank you, Rae, for seeing the big picture and creating a wonderful legacy for John, for L’Arche, and for the Comox Valley.

J. Kevin Dobbelsteyn is an investment adviser with Investors Group in Courtenay.