Volunteering Sparks Vision for Legacy of Giving Back

June 2, 2017

When their daughter passed away, Ken Cutts and Patricia Achey-Cutts knew they could react in one of two ways. “We could have gone down the rabbit hole or to the light,” said Patricia. The couple chose the light. Both grew up in big families with minimal resources, but their families believed in caring for the community around them. Now, in their time of healing, both reached back to those roots.

Ken and Patricia are actively involved with many Cedar Valley organizations. “These volunteer experiences give us more healing. They are important for our health and our community,” said Patricia. It’s these experiences that sparked the idea of leaving a lasting legacy. “You get to know the needs of those around you. When you volunteer and build relationships with people you may not otherwise ever run into, your world gets bigger and bigger. You see new projects and want to help make them happen,” said Patricia.

The couple brought their passion for community to the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa where staff introduced them to the Legacy Society. Ken and Patricia have planned to leave a gift in their will to ensure their dedication to their community will continue on, even after they are no longer here. “Since we don’t have children, we wanted to find a way of continuing what we have started and inspire others to take part in the legacy of giving,” said Ken.

Ken and Patricia especially enjoyed the ability to designate their funds. As former school teachers, both wanted to make sure they could meet the needs of students in the Cedar Valley. Their funds will be designated to the UNI Suzuki School of Music and scholarships for graduates of Black Hawk County High Schools to attend institutions of higher learning.

The generous couple feels confident knowing the Community Foundation will handle their funds in the way they intend. “I look to solid leadership and invest in what I think is good and is going in the right direction. The Community Foundation has a vision that is larger than Cedar Falls or Waterloo, it’s huge,” said Ken.