TAKE 5: Man and Woman of the Year event will be held March 12

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

This week, we Take 5 with Howard Bokhoven, the president of the Lee County Community Foundation, about the foundation's work in Lee County. Bokhoven is a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Sanford.

What does the Lee County Community Foundation do?

The Lee County Community Foundation is one of 60 affiliates under the umbrella of the North Carolina Community Foundation. Clyde Rhyne was instrumental in getting us started in 1996. We provide avenues of philanthropy and charitable giving for individuals, families and existing charitable funds. The North Carolina Community Foundation provides the investment portfolios and the administration required; the Lee County Community Foundation is then able to distribute funds to qualified charities and non-profits through our unrestricted fund as well as individual and family endowments.

Which local entities benefit from the Lee County Community Foundation?

We have three avenues for philanthropy and charitable giving:

First, our unrestricted fund advertises for grant applications annually. Some past recipients of these funds include Lee County Partnership for Children, Lee County Arts Council, Helping Hands Clinic, The Breadbasket, HAVEN in Lee County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sanford, the Lee County Education Foundation, Railroad House Historical Association, Prostate Cancer Support Group of Lee County, Stevens Foundation for Development and Enrichment Services, Salvation Army, and the Christian United Outreach Center.

Second, endowments can be established as donor advised or a field of interest. This could be established in the memory of a loved one or a family legacy. The donor can advise as to the qualified causes or charitable recipients of these funds. Existing endowments can also use this avenue if they need assistance with investing and administration. Examples of some of the beneficiaries of the endowments would be Lee County Industries, Lee County YMCA, Lutheran Children's Camp, Central Carolina Hospital Nursing Program, Temple Theatre and Lake Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home.

The third avenue enables the establishment of scholarships.

A unique part of the foundation is that these funds are perpetual.

Also, in 2011, funds were made available through the North Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund for the counties affected by the spring tornadoes and summer hurricanes. We were able to act as a conduit for those funds to agencies helping tornado victims in Lee County.

Do you have any events or projects scheduled in the near future?

Yes, we are scheduling our 2nd annual “Man and Woman of the Year” event this March. I have heard people say that they have witnessed more volunteerism and caring in Lee County than in any other place they have ever lived. Building on that theme, we want to recognize two individuals each year who exemplify volunteerism and generosity.

Last year's recipients were Larry and Grace Aiken. They continue to be an example of the attributes we want to celebrate. In the next couple of weeks, we will be announcing this year's Man and Woman of the Year. Then, a dinner and program will be held March 12 at the Carolina Trace Country Club in their honor.

How is the foundation raising money for this event?

Our board of directors has the responsibility of raising funds for the unrestricted fund and the distributions for this fund stay in Lee County. For the Man and Woman of the Year event, we have enlisted sponsors and we also have tickets available for the dinner at $50 each.

The Man and Woman of the Year event gives us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the unselfish caring and giving of two individuals. Just like our funds, I hope this is a perpetual event celebrated each year.

If someone wants to attend or sponsor the Man and Woman of the Year event, who would they contact?

They are welcome to contact me at Edward Jones at (919) 774-4826, or any of our board members — Mikeal Basinger, Adam Beal, Wilson Cox, Oliver Crawley, David Foushee, Ed Garrison, Doug Gay, Jan Hayes, Drew Lucas, Dargan Moore, Bob Nelson, John Quiggle, John Ramsperger, Linda Smith, Sharon Spence or Charlie Welborn. They could also contact our NCCF representative, Mary Anne Howard, at (919) 256-6924.