A Cause Close to Her Heart

Dr. Estelle Crino and Pamela Warner smiling

Dr. Estelle Crino, left, established a scholarship to encourage women to pursue leadership roles in education; right, Scholarship Recipient Pamela Warner.

In 2009, Dr. Estelle Crino visited the Fredonia campus to attend an event honoring her mentor, Dr. Robert Heichberger. As an innovative leader, a beloved professor emeritus, executive assistant to the university president for 10 years and a longtime Fredonia College Council member, Dr. Heichberger had launched the Heichberger Family and Scholars of Leadership Endowment Fund to strengthen school leadership training.

His generous act quickly appealed to campus colleagues, community members and former students such as Estelle, all of whom made donations themselves and became Heichberger fund partners. But that was just the beginning.

Estelle, a retired principal in Gowanda, N.Y., and one of seven students enrolled in the original educational administration/supervision program launched by Dr. Heichberger in the mid-1970s, was so inspired by the initiative, she established her own endowment to address a need dear to her heart.

A Cause Close to Her Heart
"I had given money toward the Heichberger endowment, since I really love the educational administration program, but I also wanted to do something different," she says. She created the Dr. Estelle M. Crino Educational Leadership Scholarship for Promising Women Leaders to encourage more women to pursue leadership positions in education.

"I would hope more women would be interested in going into school administration. When I was a principal, I noticed so many women who would make good leaders but who were afraid to leave the security as a teacher and having tenure. They were always afraid to take that next step," she says.

Estelle speaks from experience, having served 14 years as an elementary principal in Gowanda, six more as a teacher in Silver Creek and several more as an adjunct professor in the College of Education. This New Jersey native, who proceeded to earn a doctorate in curriculum planning and development, also taught in Buffalo and Rockland County — and was a nun for 19 years before becoming a teacher.

In 1976, while teaching in Silver Creek, she enrolled in the educational administration/supervision program to become a principal. "I always wanted to go farther, wanted to have a little more say in education and have more parental involvement."

A Legacy in Education
When asked what inspired her to become a member of the Dallas K. Beal Legacy Society, Estelle says: "As most who have started a scholarship will say, I am paying back. I feel strongly that, by starting a scholarship fund and including it in my estate plans, I am paying it forward. As Fredonia helped me with my career, I feel it is my duty to do all that I can to assist others who now face the same challenges I did when I was a nontraditional student working toward my goal of becoming a school administrator.

"I want education to be my legacy as it has been my life for 45 years," says Estelle, who retired in 1993 and now operates a bed and breakfast near Silver Creek. "The Fredonia College Foundation has made it possible for me to create that legacy through my endowment fund. As I met my first scholarship recipient this past spring, it validated to me that leaving the Fredonia College Foundation in my estate plans gives me peace of mind knowing my legacy will live on in a way that honors my accomplishments while inspiring others to reach for their dreams."

Being a little bit of a "risk-taker," she says, is almost a prerequisite to becoming an administrator. "Sometimes they need a little push," she says. "I'm hoping that the larger my scholarship grows, the bigger the push I'm able to give someone else to take the next step in their career, and that is the legacy I want to be remembered by."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Fredonia College Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to the Fredonia College Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Fredonia, NY, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Fredonia or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Fredonia as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Fredonia as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Fredonia where you agree to make a gift to Fredonia and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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