The Perfect Way to “Help Others Help Themselves”

The IRA Charitable Distribution Makes a Big Impact

Kendall and Eleanor Bryan

Kendall and Eleanor Bryan are long-time, generous supporters of Pine Castle. They recently shared why they were inspired to get involved and invest in the programs that help so many adults with IDD at Pine Castle. When Kendall and his bride Eleanor moved back to Jacksonville in the early 1970s, he went to work for the family business – Independent Life and Accident Insurance Co. His father was CEO then and encouraged his three sons, including Kendall, to join the community.

According to Kendall, “Do unto others” was a key value of the Bryan family. At the time, he was a “Loaned Executive” for United Way and visited the Pine Castle campus. Recalling that, at the time, the programs were mostly for children, he was very impressed with the opportunities Pine Castle made available to kids who otherwise would not have had the education and training they received there.

Kendall and Eleanor, like most couples with children, had a full plate after that, raising four children and seeing that they also got the opportunities for a good education in Jacksonville and college afterward. So, once their children were launched, they turned their attention to carrying on their family’s legacy of giving. Since then, Pine Castle has been a proud beneficiary of their support for nearly twenty years. Eleanor shared that she was happy to have visited the Pine Castle campus last year for the 70th Anniversary celebration.

She was most impressed with the new kitchen and dining facilities, which fill many needs on the campus, including job training and experience for program participants. Kendall added that their family has always been most attracted to supporting organizations that “do good work by helping others help themselves,” which he felt was Pine Castle’s greatest strength. Looking back over 70 plus years serving the greater Jacksonville community, Pine Castle has, in Eleanor’s words, “stood the test of time.”

Kendall and Eleanor have found an appropriate way to give generous support in recent years using the annual required distribution from their IRA account. Called a “Qualified Charitable Distribution” by the IRS, this method of donating to Pine Castle was a new concept for Kendall. When my financial advisor let me know that I had reached the age to start withdrawing funds, thankfully, he also informed me I could make it as a direct charitable donation and fulfill the Required Minimum Distribution regulation. Since I didn’t receive the funds as income and then wrote a check to Pine Castle, the money went directly from my IRA to Pine Castle, and that amount would not be counted as taxable income. This saved us on taxes since I didn’t receive the funds as income and then write a check to Pine Castle – the money went directly to them from my IRA and was not counted as taxable income. That way, we could also give more and save on taxes!”

Eleanor and Kendall are committed to investing in the work of Pine Castle and those we serve, helping our participants “live to their fullest potential.” Their generous gifts of support carry on the heartfelt legacy of the Bryan family and continue to “do unto others” in partnership with Pine Castle and its many supporters in our community.

 To learn more about how to create a legacy gift plan or other planned gift for Pine Castle visit:

Diane Young Planned a Gift in Her Will That Gives Joy to Pine Castle Participants Every Day 

A longtime member of the Uptown Civitan Club, Diane Young volunteered at Pine Castle with her club members for over 30 years. Serving as the charter president-elect of the new all-female Uptown Club, her commitment and leadership are reflected in their many activities of support for the programs of Pine Castle. 

Civic engagement was always very important to Diane and her husband Ray, and after retirement, he joined in the activities with her. They were always very involved with local charities and their faith community. It seemed as if Diane saw the Pine Castle Civitan Club as a natural extension of her faith and service to others. So, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the check for her generous estate gift arrived in the mail. However, as CEO Lori Ann Whittington shared, “We were completely flabbergasted when the check for the donation from Mrs. Young arrived unannounced! I only wish we could have known before her passing and thanked her in advance for her generous legacy gift plan. However, the timing was perfect. We were able to use her heartfelt gift to completely renovate the outdoor walking track and sports activity area, creating the “Diane Young Track & Field Complex” and publicly acknowledge her generosity during our 70th Anniversary Celebration in 2022.”  

Diane’s dear friend of many years, Martha [Mattie] Fraser, was initially introduced to Civitan by Diane. Mattie shared some of the background about the club and Diane’s involvement.  “Another friend, Mary Jo Marjenhoff, and I learned what another Civitan club had done working with a group serving people with intellectual and developmental differences in another part of the country. We reached out to Jon May, Executive Director at the time, and Jon invited us to tour the campus. When we did, we were all in.  I was President of our club and in June 1989, Mary Jo and I became the founding members of the Pine Castle Civitan Club, helped by other members of Uptown including Diane. From that time on, Diane supported us and was totally committed.” 

Another friend and fellow club member, Elaine Hall, worked closely with Diane at Pine Castle. She recalled that “Our goal for the Pine Castle club was for our Uptown Club Members to engage with and support the community involvement of participants at Pine Castle. It was and is “our” club together – theirs as much as ours. We were so proud of how we were welcomed and have partnered in community activities together ever since. And, we have fun together! From the early days, if our Uptown club was doing a fund raiser or writing cards to those needing encouragement, the Pine Castle members were right there doing it with us. And Diane was always part of making that happen!” 

Diane Young gave much during her lifetime and supported Pine Castle in so many ways. But we are most grateful to her for the legacy gift she gave through the generous bequest in her will. Because she planned that gift, she is still with us. Her support gives so much joy and meaning to the program participants at Pine Castle . And – her gift will continue to give so much for years to come!

 To learn more about how to create a legacy gift plan or other planned gift for Pine Castle visit:

The Gift That Continues To Give So Much To So Many!

 Ralph and Elizabeth Mundell’s daughter Tammy was an only child with special needs. Early in her childhood, they became familiar with Pine Castle and volunteered throughout their lifetimes. Once she became an adult, Tammy benefitted from many of Pine Castle’s programs. The Mundell family lived very modestly, and unbeknown to Pine Castle, they had saved enough to create a well-endowed special needs trust to care for Tammy long after their passing. 

Tammy moved into one of Pine Castle’s group homes and became even more a part of the “Pine Castle family” as well. When her father passed away, her mother followed shortly after. As planned, their estate poured into the trust they had established and their daughter’s needs were covered in full, enabling her to live in the Pine Castle group home until her death. This was only a few years after losing her parents, so a large amount of her trust was remaining including a neighboring property Ralph and Elizabeth had owned.  After Tammy’s passing, the remainder in the trust and mortgaged property became the gift of a lifetime and created the largest charitable gift Pine Castle had ever received. 

Jon May, long time Pine Castle CEO at the time, shared that “The Mundell’s legacy gift was our biggest gift ever and a total surprise! We simply had no idea they had named Pine Castle as the beneficiary of Tammy’s trust. When the news came, I was flabbergasted. They had lived so modestly but had planned for their daughter’s care so well, and generously for Pine Castle too!” 

The Mundell’s had intended to make their gift to Pine Castle in perpetuity, helping others for generations to come in memory of their beloved Tammy. So their donation created an endowment fund that continues to grow year after year, providing generously for those who benefit from its programs thanks to the Mundell’s foresight and generosity.

 To learn more about how to create a legacy gift plan or other planned gift for Pine Castle visit:

Jim & Sue Henry’s “Pine Castle Forever Sustainability Fund”

Helps Make Sure Our Participants Can Do Their Best!

Jim Henry has been involved in the work of Pine Castle and supported its programs since the early 1990s. Serving multiple board terms as President, he’s now a Board Member Emeritus, a “lifetime membership!” Asked recently about his community involvement and philanthropy, Jim was unequivocal – “I’ve supported various worthy causes in the past, but at this time in my life, I’m focusing 100% on Pine Castle!”

Jim has supported Pine Castle financially through various means over the years. He’s given through a donor advised fund [DAF] that enabled him to save on taxes when he sold a business. Contributing to the DAF allowed him to get a big one-time tax deduction. He could then make “grants” to his charities of choice over time for causes and projects he cared most about.  

Jim and his wife Sue, also a longtime supporter of Pine Castle, are now using another beneficial vehicle for charitable gifts to Pine Castle that is equally strategic – using a “qualified chartable distribution” [QCD] annually from his individual retirement account [IRA]. Since everyone over the age of 72 is required to take a percentage from their IRA each year this adds to their taxable income. Using the QCD, Jim can bypass taking the taxable income distribution [“Required Minimum Distribution”], and give it directly to Pine Castle with no tax liability. As Jim explained – “This makes the most sense for us right now. It actually allows us to give more annually than taking the money as income and then cutting a check to Pine Castle and paying extra taxes. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

The Henrys like knowing their annual gifts to Pine Castle will address the things needed most right now. They decided to make sure their gifts were going to make the greatest impact, grow over time but not be tied up perpetually in an endowment. So, when the idea of creating a semi-endowed “named fund” came up, they were all in. The fund can be contributed to annually through Jim’s IRA, focused on the greatest need and grow with other Pine Castle investments. This is called a “semi-endowed fund.” The money is kept in investment accounts, the growth tracked by fund name and used by Pine Castle as the donors have directed. 

Jim and Sue decided to name this fund the “Pine Castle Forever Sustainability Fund.” Jim liked this because he knows emergencies often take away from Pine Castle’s vital services, and emergent opportunities can go by the wayside. This fund creates an unrestricted source of income and can help Pine Castle where needed most. The board of directors at the CEO’s request can approve use of the funds for whatever is needed most and keep the rest in the fund to grow over time. 

The Henrys’ vision to name a fund they can help grow over time using Jim’s IRA QCD is what we call “giving smarter.” It allows our partners to give even more in the way best for them. Not naming it after their family invites others to join them in this effort – to give smarter and build sustainable funding for years to come. As Jim said, “We hope others will join us in this project and grow the fund. Not having our name on it makes it everybody’s fund!”

We are grateful to Jim and Sue for sharing their personal story with our many valued supporters.  As Jim reminds us, “The important thing is to do our part the best we can. That will ensure that the folks Pine Castle serves will be able to do the very best they can too!”

 To learn more about how to create a legacy gift plan or other planned gift for Pine Castle visit:

The IRA "Qualified Charitable Distribution" [QCD] is an excellent way to support Pine Castle
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