Legacy Giving

Leaving a Legacy

Over the years, many BVIC supporters have included us through bequests in their wills or with another type of legacy gift. Their foresight, and yours should you choose to join them, strengthens and helps ensure the future of The Blind and Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County.

We are especially grateful to you for a bequest, setting up a life income gift, or some other type of legacy gift. We’ll recognize your commitment by inviting you to join our Kathy Henson Legacy Society. We’ll recognize members in our publications, and with invitations to special events. Anonymity is always an option.

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Sample Bequest Language:

“I give $_____ (or ___% of my estate) to The Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County, a California nonprofit corporation, federal tax ID #23-7221588, for its general uses and purposes. The Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County is currently located at 225 Laurel Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.”

For more information contact Diana Trapani, 831-649-3505 or diana@blindandlowvision.org.

Tax Identification Number 23-7221588.

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Kathy Henson Legacy Society Members

Under development…


Legacy Society: Why do we choose to leave a legacy gift?

by Ron & Ann Kihara, KHLS Members

As a client, Board member, and volunteer for the Blind and Visually Impaired Center, I have come to know this organization intimately. Both my wife and I appreciate all the care and assistance we have received from the Center and their dedicated staff.

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Why do we choose to leave a legacy gift? It is because the Lions Clubs on our Central Coast have dedicated themselves to build, maintain, and continue a Center that has now endured for 45 years. As our population enjoys longer life, and better health care, the needs to meet the concerns of low vision and blind brothers and sisters becomes more and more challenging. The need for BVIC support and services will surely grow as our County population increases.

Some of you may know a family member who is losing their vision. The natural response for many is to give up some activities, like shopping, or walking, or going to movies, not to mention reading or using their computers. The BVIC has an amazing Clinic and trained staff to help give hope to all of us. With white cane training, I can now walk with confidence throughout my community, both day and night if necessary. Because of specialized computer software and staff training, I can type this very document, and manage my email. With advice and training, I can continue my cooking avocation, and safely manage my stove and microwave.

Perhaps best of all, the Center has a twice monthly meeting of a Support Group. Fifteen or twenty Center members come loyally to these meetings, where we share our challenges, our victories, and most importantly, give each other joy and hope. This group has been meeting now since 2013, and clients come for several reasons: “It is so good to hear that I am not the only one having these challenges;” “Our group has so much laughter, you raise my spirits;” “We give each other practical ideas, like how to manage our toothpaste.” And now we have two new Salinas support groups!

Our legacy gift is meant to contribute to the future of BVIC, and to provide real and practical assistance to families like our own. Please join us, your legacy gift will be very much needed and appreciated.

Supporting the needs of blind and low vision men and women in our community,

Ron and Ann Kihara

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Kathy Henson: From Consumer to First Executive Director

Kathleen Colvin Henson was a person who faced challenges with grace and believed in the services of the Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County.

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Kathy was a true Monterey native whose local heritage dates to the 1700’s. She was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in her childhood. As a young newlywed, she suddenly lost her vision, becoming totally blind because of the disease. Kidney failure made her dependent upon dialysis for the next five years until she was fortunate to be the recipient of a kidney transplant. She had regained her freedom, but her blindness limited her movement.

She reached out to the Blind & Visually Impaired Center (formerly known as the Blind Service Center). She received the skills and resources that helped her to adapt to her vision loss; emotional support, long cane training, braille and daily living skills which enabled her to fully live her life. The Center made such a positive difference in her life that she wanted to give back. She became a member in 1979, also becoming a volunteer and eventually serving as vice president of the BVIC board of directors.

Her involvement increased when she first began as a volunteer Executive Director in 1984. The orientation and mobility skills she received at the BVIC enabled her to attend Guide Dogs for the Blind where she was valedictorian of her class. Her dog guides, Brama and Bobby were an important part of her life and members of her family.

With Kathy’s leadership and dedication as Executive Director the Center flourished and community awareness improved. She was a charismatic spokesperson for the Center speaking at service clubs, businesses and agencies. During her tenure, services to clients increased, being provided throughout the expansive county. Kathy, Cindy Hazard and Mike Tomlin were the driving force of Monterey County’s premiere Low Vision Clinic in 1988.

She recognized the importance and need of raising funds at which she was adept. The annual Christmas Country Store fundraiser was her favorite as she enjoyed making crafts for the event. The special labels for her creations bore the appropriate name, Angels by Touch (labelled in braille).

Helping others was a natural part of Kathy’s life. She was big sister, for the Big Sister Program, a spokeswoman for Guide Dogs for the Blind, an active member of the Old Capitol Lion Club and served on the Pacific Grove Americans with Disabilities Act Committee. Kathy was fun loving and did not allow her blindness to hinder her. She met her husband, Randy Henson while learning to bowl.

Confronted with a multitude of health challenges throughout her life she lived fully with determination, compassion and joy. It was only when her health prevented her from serving in the capacity she wanted that she retired in 1998. Kathy died in 2001 at the age of 49. During her career with the BVIC she made a positive difference in countless people with her service. Kathy was a community leader whose enthusiasm and caring spirit touched the hearts of all she met.

In recognition of Kathy’s deep relationship with the BVIC, we are naming our legacy giving recognition group in her honor – Kathy Henson Legacy Society.

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Help Build BVIC’s Future

Many BVIC supporters give money in appreciation of the services we provide. Now we have a formal way of making a donation which allows you to give through the simple stroke of your pen – a legacy gift, most often a bequest in your will or trust.

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This gift will live on forever through our endowment, or as you designate. You can help others in the coming decades transcend the loss the sight with a legacy gift. By arranging a legacy gift you will ensure we continue to encourage and inspire the blind and visually impaired as independent members of our community.

The most common type of legacy gift is a bequest. When your attorney drafts your document, you simply ask that language be added including BVIC (See box on page 5). If you don’t yet have a will or living trust, we can provide you with a list of attorneys from which to choose. If you already have an estate plan, you can inexpensively update your documents to include BVIC through a codicil to your will or an amendment to your trust.

There are other types of legacy gifts that are even easier than a charitable bequest. You can make BVIC the beneficiary of your retirement plan. When you leave a retirement plan to your loved ones, income and estate taxes can eat up as much as 70% of the proceeds. However, when leaving your retirement plan to BVIC, all of the money will be used to bring our services to people with vision loss. As a nonprofit, we don’t pay taxes when receiving your retirement plan. All you do is fill out a designation form provided by your retirement plan administrator. The same thing can be done with an insurance policy, and many other types of assets, including real estate.

Some legacy gifts even allow you to make a gift and receive an income stream for the rest of your life. These are known as life income gifts. These are sometimes funded with highly appreciated assets such as securities or real estate. Making a life income gift will usually result in favorable treatment of capital gains tax to you. You also receive an income tax deduction for a portion of the gift. And there is no estate tax paid.

When you make a legacy gift the BVIC we will honor you by inviting you to join our Kathy Henson Legacy Society. Your name will be listed in our publications and we will recognize you at special legacy society events. Of course, you may choose to remain anonymous.

Questions? Interested? Please contact me for a confidential conversation: (831) 649-3505 x103 or diana@blindandlowvision.org.

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Let Us Know

Is BVIC in your estate plan?
Yes, I have included a legacy gift.I am considering, please send more information.I may consider, but not right now.