Category Archives: Donors

The Rebirth of a City Park Helps a Community Recover

Four years ago, an EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, tragically killing 24 people and destroying nearly everything in its path. Since that time, many community partners have come together to rebuild the city, proving that triumph truly can arise from tragedy.

“May 20, 2013, is a date that everybody remembers,” said Moore assistant city manager Todd Jensen. “It was devastating to the community.”

Jensen says the recovery process hasn’t been easy, but thanks to the help of countless volunteers and organizations, the city has been rebuilt one step at a time.

The restoration of Little River Park, located near the Warren Theater, is one example of the resiliency of the Moore community. The tornado ripped right through the center of the public park that serves the Plaza Tower Elementary School neighborhood.

“This park symbolizes the resiliency of Moore, the recovery,” Jensen said. “And not just recovering and going back to where we were, but being better than we were and stronger and more improved. With the things that we’ve been able to do with our partners here at Little River, we’re well on our way in doing that.”

Thanks to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and a number of community partners, the park has not only been restored, but is growing into a lively community gathering spot. Learn how the rebirth of this city park is enhancing the recovery of the Moore community in a recent segment of Oklahoma Gardening.

A Higher Degree of Giving

Endowment gifts provide lasting support for local charities

Steve Kamm with students
Retired professor Steve Kamm used an IRA Charitable Rollover gift to create an endowment for Oklahoma City Community College international students.

After living and studying abroad during his own college years, Steve Kamm understands the unique challenges faced by international students. During his 39 years teaching at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), Steve’s experiences traveling the world helped him connect with students from other countries and they naturally gravitated toward his classes. Although Steve retired in 2011, he continues to help international students through an endowment fund he established at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

“When I learned that most financial aid programs are not available to international students, I wanted to find a way to help,” Steve said. “My financial advisor suggested the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.”

By working together with our development director, Joe Carter, Steve is achieving his goal of supporting students now and well beyond his lifetime. Steve established a charitable gift annuity that yields annual payments to him. After his death, the remaining value in the annuity would establish the Kamm International Student Fund to support awards for international students attending OCCC.

While Steve liked the idea of receiving an annual income from his gift, he also wanted to help students during his lifetime. Once Steve turned 70 ½, his tax situation changed and he was able to utilize the IRA charitable rollover provision to create the Kamm International Student Fund now, instead of after his death.

“Everyone my age realizes when you turn 70 ½, you are required to take a minimum distribution from your retirement account,” Steve said. “By making an IRA charitable rollover gift with those funds, I didn’t have to pay taxes on the distribution and I could begin helping international students now through the endowment fund.”

The Kamm International Student Fund distributes annual funding to OCCC, enabling the college to present the first award for international students this spring.

“International students add so much to the OCCC community,” said Randy Cassimus, OCCC acting director of development. “Their experiences and willingness to share their perspectives help broaden vistas for classmates who, quite literally, may have never traveled beyond the state line. We are so grateful to Mr. Kamm for the philanthropic action he has taken to further enrich life experiences for all of our students.”

Learn how you provide lasting support to any of the 360 charities with endowment funds at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in our recent Charitable Organization Endowment Program Review below. To learn more about our tax-wise giving options like an IRA Charitable Rollover gift, contact Joe Carter at 405/606-2914.