Sandi and R.J. Button
Jack Laucher was a consultant with the Char-Em Intermediate School District (ISD), focusing on children with emotional, social, and cognitive challenges. When Jack died in 1998, his wife Sandi and their two sons, Andrew and Adam, acted on Jack’s suggestion to use memorial gifts to establish a fund encouraging outdoor education. The Jack Laucher Outdoor Education Fund provides financial support that allows students nominated by ISD staff to attend an array of camps and experiences. Staff members who worked with Jack faithfully support the Fund with payroll deductions. Many newer ISD employees support the Fund each year because they appreciate the difference it makes in the lives of students.
Sandi was also an educator; she traveled from school district to school district to support kids with hearing impairments, their families, and their teachers for nearly 30 years. She spent the last half of her career as a consultant for the ISD before she retired in 2001.
Based on her own dedication to encouraging and supporting young people as well as her experience with the Community Foundation, Sandi has included a gift in her estate plan. The gift will establish the Sandra Laucher Button Fund for Youth, and will be distributed by the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee. “This is a wonderful, one-of-a-kind community,” explains Sandi. “It feels friendly and connected – the people here sincerely care about one another,” she adds. By making an estate gift to benefit Charlevoix County’s youngest residents, Sandi has shown that she cares, too.
R.J. Button had been acquainted with organizations doing good work in the area, but was first motivated to give to the Community Foundation by his wife Sandi, who had established a fund at the Community Foundation in her late husband’s memory. His daughter, Lori Tallman Kendrick, introduced him to a different fund that supports vocational education when she and her husband Terry contributed in his name in lieu of a Christmas gift. Recently, R.J. remembered the Community Foundation in his estate plan, as well. “It makes sense,” notes R.J., “to make a planned gift through the Community Foundation. It’s a well-managed organization and my resources will become more meaningful when combined together with other resources, and without the expense or administration required for a private foundation,” he explains.
R.J.’s estate gift will be split between supporting the fund that his daughter cares about most and establishing the R.J. Button Fund for the Community. “If you are given a lot in life, like I have been as an entrepreneur, then you should give back,” says R.J. His Fund for the Community will allow for grants in all areas, from arts and culture to recreation, and can be applied across the whole county. Learn more about making a difference close to home with a Fund for the Community.