Endowment fund created to benefit Zion Lutheran Church's preschool

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 5, 2018 8:30 am Updated: Mar. 5, 2018 9:50 am

PALMYRA, Mo. -- The preschool program at Zion Lutheran Church in Palmyra will benefit from a newly created endowment fund.

Members of Zion Lutheran Church and Preschool recently established the Zion Lutheran Early Childhood Endowment through the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

Supporters of the preschool can now begin making tax-deductible contributions to the fund. Earnings from the fund's investments will then serve as a perpetual source of future funding for the preschool program.

"Those who want to assure our organization's mission continues can support the fund by making a gift of any amount at any time to help it grow," said Wes Gehrke, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church.

Regina Boyer, chairman of the preschool's board of education, said the board realized there was a need "for a stable, predictable source of income for our organization." So the board started raising money to launch the endowment fund.

"We began by asking our members to make a donation to honor Mrs. Luella Powell, who retired after 45 years of service to our preschool," Boyer said. "Our members responded wonderfully. Their support will grow the endowment and ensure Christ-centered, early childhood education is available in our community."

Boyer said the goal of the church's early childhood education program is "to meet the needs of the whole child in an environment that also nurtures the spiritual growth of the child."

Jill Arnold Blickhan, the Community Foundation's president and CEO, said the foundation is able to accept a wide variety of gifts, including cash, stocks, grain, real estate, life insurance, IRAs and other valuable assets donated for any of the endowment funds it manages.

"We're grateful that Zion Lutheran Church and Preschool has entrusted us with this fund," Blickhan said."Our experience enables us to assist anyone with an interest to ‘give while they live' or plan for their legacy. We work confidentially with donors and their professional advisors in the gift process."

The Community Foundation has distributed more than $5 million since it started managing endowment funds in 1997. The foundation serves Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike counties in Illinois and Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe counties in Missouri.

Donors can make gifts to the endowment fund, or get more information, by calling the Community Foundation at 217-222-1237 or by sending email to The foundation's web site is