$1 million boost for local charities

$1 million boost for local charities


CHAMPAIGN — Seven local charities are sharing in a surprise windfall of more than $1 million.

The late Betty Kaufmann left bequests totalling $1,075,106 to Developmental Services Center, the Champaign County Humane Society, Cunningham Children’s Home, Disabled American Veterans of Champaign, Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County, the United Way of Champaign County and her home church, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley, according to a statement from DSC.

Ms. Kaufmann died in June 2013 at age 71.

DSC, a Champaign-based agency that serves people with developmental disabilities, isn’t aware of aware of ever having known or helped Ms. Kaufmann, according to its Development Director Janice McAteer.

“We weren’t expecting it,” she said of the gift.

DSC’s board and management is reviewing how the agency will use the $182,000 it is receiving from the estate.

McAteer said significant gifts such as this don’t come to the DSC very often, but the impact from this kind of generosity can be substantial.

The Champaign County Humane Society also didn’t know Ms. Kaufmann and was surprised to be remembered in her will, according to Mary Tiefenbrunn, its executive director. Planned gifts help with the Humane Society’s financial stability, she said, and it’s because of generous gifts that animals are never turned away.

Kelly Hill, development director of Habitat for Humanity, said Ms. Kaufmann had been a supporter of that organization during  her lifetime, but the gift still came as a surprise.

“We are just really grateful to be a part of such an amazing gift, and we will be using it to help our efforts here to help our local families move into homes,” she said.


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