This Onion-esque headline refers to the legacy KUSP’s Dale Owen leaves the Monterey Bay area and the world. This weekend we and Community Foundation Santa Cruz County are taking note of Dale’s foresight and community spirit — qualities we hope we and Dale can inspire others to embrace.
Dale was among the most influential personalities in the entire history of KUSP. I noted just a few of his accomplishments in a post to this blog at the time of his passing, which was about a year ago.
Soon after we learned how deeply committed Dale was to fostering positive change in the world. Community Foundation CEO Lance Linares (another major figure in KUSP’s history, and a good friend of Dale for decades) writes in his own blog today of how Dale managed his personal finances with characteristic foresight — including making an estate plan that supports and advances the causes he cared about.
I can’t tell you how honored and humbled I am that KUSP was one of five nonprofit organizations that are beneficiaries of Dale’s planned giving. Two of his five causes focus their work in the place Dale called home for the last thirty-plus years of his life; three do work with worldwide impact. That local-to-global perspective is also so characteristic of Dale.
In recent years, public media has benefited to a greater and greater extent from estate planning by our supporters. The most visible, and probably most consequential, was the gift from the estate of Joan Kroc that among other good works established the Kroc Fellowship at NPR — and, importantly, seeded a significant endowment at her local NPR station, KPBS in San Diego.
But planned gifts of all sizes have had meaningful impact. At KUSP, we’ve received several bequests in my time with the station. Most have provided general operating support for the station, as Dale’s will, but other gifts have supported specific things we do. One planned gift met the costs of bringing our audience one year of the donor’s favorite program on our station. Another was designated for the tools our news reporters use to gather audio in the field.
The Community Foundation is a great resource for people in Santa Cruz County and vicinity to learn more about estate planning in general, and how you can take steps today to make good things happen in the years to come. At our station we also benefit from the great work being done at neighboring community foundations, including the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the East Bay Community Foundation. Just about anywhere you are in the U.S. there is a community foundation that enhances and focuses local philanthropy in their area.
Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has a pretty good slogan: “For Good. For Ever.” It applies pretty well to Dale Owen’s legacy too.