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Estate worth $2.5 million left to Steuben foundation

Statement as issued Thursday by the Steuben County Community Foundation:

The Steuben County Community Foundation (SCCF) is pleased to announce the receipt of a gift from the estate of Donald and Martha Rogers. $1.1 million dollars was presented on Thursday to the foundation by Craig Benson, a personal representative for the Rogers estate. Benson then stated “pending the sale of their residence on Lake James, we estimate another $1.5 million dollars be added to this gift.”

The estate gift will create a permanently endowed fund at the SCCF with investment earnings granted to three local agencies. RISE, Inc., an employment training and rehabilitation center for adolescents and adults with disabilities, will receive support for operational expenses. Steuben County Council on Aging will receive support for transportation related expenses while serving older adults in Steuben County. And Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Indiana will receive support for building housing in Steuben County. All three organizations were important to the Rogers’ during their lifetime spent in Steuben County.

“We are honored that Don and Martha trusted the community foundation with their lasting legacy,” said Jennifer Danic, President and CEO of the Steuben County Community Foundation. “Much credit should be given our past boards and leadership who planted the seeds of a legacy endowment and built the foundation to a point where a gift of this size is possible. We are humbled by the opportunity ahead of us to steward this gift for the benefit of three very deserving organizations while honoring the lives of Don and Martha.”

The Rogers were Steuben County residents who owned three automotive businesses. They were described as “quiet donors” who had a “passion for the needy.” Don was very active with many service clubs, in particular the Angola Rotary and Elks clubs. Last December, a $300,000 scholarship was established from their estate at the SCCF to benefit Steuben County residents graduating from high school who will pursue vocational training.

When all assets are received, this will be the largest contribution to SCCF since its incorporation in 1991.

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