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Reflection of a Life Lived for Community

January 7, 2016

For Dr. Greg Christensen, the legacy his parents established when they created their fund isn't about recognition or pride but about his family's community.

"I'm more humbled and grateful than proud," said Greg. "I'm thankful that we were called to be in a position that we could benefit other people and hopefully make their lives better."

Dr. Ross and Pat Christensen established the Ross D. Christensen Family Fund, a donor advised fund advised by Greg and his sister, Lisa Kempston. The fund will carry on their father's life work of serving the community of Waterloo.Ross and Pat both believed in Waterloo and worked together to make a difference. Pat was the primary caregiver for their children, supporting Ross as he followed his calling to make Waterloo an even greater place, and give back for all he had been given.

"One of my dad's major reasons for investing in the community was his care and compassion for people and wanting to make the place where he was living a better place for all," said Greg. "My dad always believed we are blessed to be blessings to others, and so his generosity came out of that."

Ross was one of the founding contributors to the establishment of the Community Foundation in 1956, so Greg says it was natural for his father to select the Foundation as the beneficiary of their charitable trust. Ross felt CFNEIA was the place where his money could serve people best in his community. Now Greg and Lisa are excited to make community-changing grants to area nonprofits that reflect their hearts and, they hope, the hearts of their parents.

"Money can sometimes damage people in terms of how they respond to it. They didn't want that for their kids," said Greg. "They wanted the community they loved and lived in, and benefited from raising their family in, to benefit from whatever assets they were able to accumulate throughout their life."

Dr. Ross and Pat Christensen's legacy of service lives on through their fund. The first grant made in 2014 is now giving kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley — one of Ross' first passions — a place to be active with the establishment of the McCausland and Christensen Outdoor Basketball Courts.