In 2008 Sonny and Sophia Zetmeir established a fund that would benefit both Labette Community College and the Parsons Area Community Foundation. Over time, the Zetmeirs made contributions to the fund designating the principal to be granted to the college once construction was begun for a new Labette Community College Health Science Building. In the meantime, the interest earned from the fund would be distributed to the Parsons Area Community Foundation. In 2013 the fund was closed with the principal granted to the college, and the community foundation receiving the balance. Pictured above at the groundbreaking ceremony are LCC College President Dr. George Knox, Montie Taylor, Sophia Zetmeir, Dr. Jerry Bouman, and Sonny Zetmeir.
When Charlene Taylor was asked to tell the story of why the Parsons Area Community Foundation was chosen to establish the Taylor Family Fund, this was her answer: “The city of Parsons, and the workers in our company from this area, had been good to our family. With the sale of our company, we had an opportunity to give back to the community. In exploring the best way to do that, we felt establishing a fund at the community foundation would benefit the most people over time. The benefits that we have seen since starting the fund have been numerous and will be long lasting.”
Here is a short history of this amazing fund. The Taylor Family Fund was established in 1997 with gifts of $2,000,000. The terms were for 80% of the income from the fund to be used for grants at the board’s discretion, and 20% of the fund earnings designated for St. Patrick’s Catholic School. Grants began coming off this fund in 1998, and to date it has given local grants with a cumulative total of 1.7 million dollars. And here is the even more amazing part: Financial growth from the investment of this fund has not only enabled it to give 1.7 million dollars toward the betterment of our communities, but the balance of the fund as of the end of April, 2013, remains just over 3 million. What a tremendous gift this family has given our area, and through the power of endowment, it is a gift that will just keep giving.