Want to make your gift last forever? The power is in your hands.
All you have to do is donate to one of Benefis Health System Foundation's many named endowments, or you can create an endowment of your own and then you and others can help it grow.
Benefis Health System Foundation has had a Named Scholarship Endowment program supported by many generous donors for years. In 2008, Benefis Foundation added a general Named Endowment program so donors could create a family legacy or honor someone who’s made a difference in their lives and also benefit the healthcare fund that is most meaningful to them.
Endowment is a restriction on the use of donated funds. Endowment differs from regular donations in that the money creates a forever fund that is never spent. However, the earnings on the investment help the donor’s chosen cause now as well as far into the future, remembering the family or honored person’s legacy every time a portion of the fund’s balance is paid out.
Endowment funds are easy to establish, they last indefinitely and they can be funded in a variety of ways, even through a will. In addition, the State of Montana offers a special tax credit to Montanans giving to permanent endowments for Montana charities.
More importantly, though, an endowment meets the donor’s need for achievement and stability. It’s an “insurance policy” for the community’s future healthcare needs because it provides an ongoing stream of revenue. It answers a donor’s desire to fulfill a dream and impact the future.
Here’s a current snapshot of Benefis Health System Foundation’s Named Endowments:
Named Scholarship Endowments
Smith Scholarship Endowment
Doris Smith served nearly 35 years as a registered nurse with Montana Deaconess Medical Center until just before her death in 1983. She was known for her delightful sense of humor and warm personality. Aware of Doris’ devotion and interest in the future of nursing, friends and family created a nursing scholarship in her name the year she passed away.
Van Orsdel Scholarship Endowment
It was through the special interest of Rev. William Wesley Van Orsdel that the Deaconess Hospital, now Benefis Health System, first began providing care in Great Falls in 1898. This endowment to provide nursing scholarships was created in memory of this hospital co-founder and the significant contributions he made to medical care for the people of Montana.
John and Darlene Skees Memorial Nursing Scholarship Endowment
Darlene Skees, a local business woman and author, was known far and wide for her wonderful series of cookbooks. Sadly, she developed an illness, which she suffered with for a long time before she passed away. But Darlene was very grateful to those who cared for her, and it was her wish to help caregivers further their education. So her husband, John, created this scholarship – Benefis Health System Foundation’s first named scholarship endowment – in 1998 to provide scholarships to assist LPNs and other care providers in becoming registered nurses or to permit a registered nurse to continue studies in the pursuit of advanced nursing degree.John eventually remarried and he and his wife, Sue, have faithfully supported the scholarship, helping dozens of students realize their nursing career dreams. John passed away in 2015. Sue continues to support the scholarship in his memory.
Husted Nursing Scholarship Endowment
The Jane M. Buckman Husted Scholarship was established in 1999 by Paul and Lori Husted to benefit students pursuing RN degrees. Paul served as a founding director of Benefis Health System Foundation. The scholarship is named in honor of Paul’s mother, Jane M. Buckman Husted, who was a registered nurse for more than 35 years and served a tour of duty with the Army Nursing Corps in Tokyo from 1945 until 1947.
Bloemendaal Family Scholarship Endowment
Dr. Bill and Lynn Bloemendaal created this endowment in 2002 to provide funds for the Foundation's Healthcare Scholarship Program. “Dr. B” is a long-time orthopedic surgeon, founding member of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors and a current member of the Benefis Health System Board of Directors.
Rice Family Scholarship Endowment
Kathy Rice created this endowment in 2003 to provide funds for the Foundation's Healthcare Scholarship Program. Kathy is a founding member of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors and has given generously of her time and monetary resources in support of the Foundation. She is a former teacher and business owner and is dedicated to helping students who are pursuing careers as healthcare providers.
Ugrin Memorial Scholarship Endowment
Neil and Evie Ugrin established this endowment in 2003 in memory of Neil's parents, Ed & Ethel Ugrin. Evie is a founding member of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors and continues to build this endowment. Neil served as legal counsel for Benefis Health System from the time of the merger of Montana Deaconess Medical Center and Columbus Hospital in 1996 until he passed away in 2007. Neil was a principle partner in the local law firm Ugrin, Alexander, Zadick & Higgins, P.C. and very highly respected throughout the legal community in Montana.
Wylder Scholarship Endowment
This endowment was established in 2003 by Frances and James Wylder. Fran, a founding board member of Benefis Health System Foundation, and her husband, Jim, are committed to education and generously support this scholarship endowment. Their son, Timothy J. Wylder, also served on the Benefis Health System Foundation’s Board of Directors as treasurer.
Margaret Wynn Memorial Nursing Scholarship Endowment
Margaret Wynn spent her career as a nurse and worked in Great Falls for many years. It was her desire to help nurses employed at Benefis Health System to advance their education. This scholarship assists an LPN, EMT or CNA in obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. It also provides the opportunity for a current RN to obtain a bachelor’s and the opportunity for an RN with a bachelor’s to pursue a specialty training certification or a post-graduate degree. This scholarship endowment was established through Margaret’s living trust and funded after she passed away in 2005.
Terry L. Jackson MD Memorial Scholarship Endowment
Paula Jackson established a scholarship endowment fund in 2007 to honor her late husband, Dr. Terry L. Jackson, who specialized in pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Jackson practiced in Great Falls for 11 years and served as Director of Rehabilitation at Columbus Hospital. He wished to establish a scholarship fund to assist students pursuing careers in medicine and related fields. Paula designated scholarships from this endowment to assist students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology.
Julie Hickethier Nursing Scholarship Endowment
Julie Hickethier graduated from the Carroll College Nursing Program on a Sunday and started working as a registered nurse in the emergency room at the Deaconess Hospital (now Benefis Hospitals) the following day. She spent the next 19 years in the ER. She then moved into administration and continues to love her work at Benefis. Julie also found a wonderful community in which she and her husband, Kenton, could raise their children. What made it even better for Julie was Great Falls Central Catholic High School. She is grateful for the difference the small, value-based school has made in the lives of their son, Stefan, and daughter, Mallory. To show her appreciation for a rewarding career, her alma mater and Great Falls Central, Julie created this scholarship in 2010 to support area students who are studying to become RNs.
Named Endowments for Other Purposes
Crighton Power Professional Education Endowment
This endowment was established in 1989 by Austrid L. Crighton in honor of Dr. Harry W. and Elsie F. Power. Dr. Power, Austrid’s brother-in-law, was a well-known Great Falls thoracic surgeon who treated many cancer patients. Dr. Power had long been involved in the educational efforts at Columbus Hospital to improve the quality of service for cancer patients. Austrid thought it was appropriate to honor Dr. Power with a gift that would provide the much-needed, ongoing medical education for those caring for cancer patients.
Keith and Olive Ario Alzheimer's Care Endowment
This endowment was established in 1991 by Keith and Olive Ario through a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust and funded when Keith died in 2004. The couple wished to help those who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease.
Keith and Olive Ario Unrestricted Endowment
A very generous and humble couple, Keith and Olive Ario were very philanthropic during their lifetimes and continued this generosity through their wills. As longtime Great Falls residents and members of the business community, the Arios directed much of their charitable giving to local nonprofits. The earnings from this endowment, established through a gift from Keith’s estate in 2004, are used at the discretion of the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors to further the Foundation’s mission.
Dufresne Foundation Education Endowment
This endowment was established in 2004 when the Dufresne Foundation donated $100,000 for an endowment to support a variety of educational opportunities for Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute.
Matt Haynes Memorial Endowment
Matt Haynes’ life was cut short tragically in 2000 by a terrible car accident involving a drunk driver. He was only 18. To honor Matt’s generous spirit and to keep his memory alive, his parents, Jim and Cheryl Haynes, started an endowment fund in 2008. The endowment benefits the Angel Fund, which provides funds for families with a child who is experiencing a serious illness or injury and must travel for medical care. Each year, the Haynes family holds a golf tournament to raise funds for this endowment.
Stella Rose Filipowicz Family Endowment
James and Debra Filipowicz created this endowment in 2008 in memory of Jim's mother, Stella Rose, to benefit Benefis Peace Hospice of Montana. The Filipowicz family was so very grateful for the wonderful care Stella received from Peace Hospice that they created this endowment in her memory. Many of Stella's family members and friends have made gifts to this endowment.
Phyllis F. Holm Endowment
The family of Phyllis Holm established this endowment in 2008 in her memory. Phyllis was a tireless community volunteer, and her family was very proud of her accomplishments. Peace Hospice cared for Phyllis before she passed away, and it was her wish to help support the wonderful work that goes on there.
Norman and Lola Wilcott Family Endowment
Norman and Lola Wilcott were married for 65 years, raised two children and were hardworking business people. Lola passed away in 2006 after Norman spent many years caring for her as her health declined. He was introduced to the Foundation and philanthropy by one of the Foundation’s board members. Norman wanted to help heart patients because he personally had been through four bypasses. His gift established a wonderful legacy for his family – the Norman and Lola Wilcott Endowment to benefit the Benefis Heart & Vascular Institute.
Romeo and Mary Ranieri Family Endowment
Larry Ranieri, of Helena, created this endowment in 2009 to honor his mother and father. He continues to make gifts to this endowment, which benefits the greatest need, as determined by the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors. Before he passed away in 2011, Larry had traveled to Great Falls to receive medical care that was not available in the Helena area, and his family has deep roots in the Great Falls area, especially in the Black Eagle community. His wish was to help support healthcare for the people of Northcentral Montana.
Addison Family Endowment
Dr. Brice Addison and his wife, Cindy, established this endowment fund to benefit the patient services offered within the South Tower and also specifically for the Heart & Vascular Institute. The Addison Family Courtyard in the South Tower represents the family’s love of the outdoors. Brice came to Great Falls in 1984 to join his dad, Dr. Robert Addison, in private practice. Both father and son have given many years of dedicated service to the medical community in Great Falls. Dr. Brice Addison’s sister, Elizabeth O’Conner, also has given many years of service to the community through her work as a nurse practitioner in Cardiology at Benefis Health System.
Dr. James and Carol Mungas Endowment
Dr. Jim Mungas and his wife, Carol, created this endowment in 2009 to benefit the Benefis Heart & Vascular Institute. Jim served as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and was the first to become an honorary director in 2008. Carol has worked as a volunteer for many Foundation projects and events and has served in many important volunteer roles throughout the community.
James E. Mungas, M.D. Heart and Vascular Surgical Endowment
First and foremost a vascular surgeon, Dr. Jim Mungas devoted his career to improving vascular services in Great Falls and the surrounding area. Friends of Dr. Mungas established this endowment in 2009 to honor his life's work in the field of heart and vascular surgery.
Zeller-Braden Family Endowment
Thelma Zeller created this endowment in 2009 to benefit the greatest need, as determined by the Benefis Health System Foundation Board of Directors. John and Thelma supported the missions of Benefis and the Foundation through charitable giving and were regular attendees at community education sessions sponsored by the Foundation from 1997-2005. John passed away in 2009. Thelma's estate plan provides a remainder interest gift for the Foundation.
Pop Pop Jack's Camp Francis Endowment
For Jack Satterwhite, better known as “Pop Pop” to his grandchildren, it was love at first sight when he volunteered to help a friend with Camp Francis operations a few years back. Jack loved the children of Camp Francis and gave generously to support the program. Sadly, Jack passed away in 2009. The creation of Pop Pop Jack’s Camp Francis Endowment in 2010 honors his passion to bring positive change to the lives of those who attend the children’s bereavement camp.