As a bequest, the Oden Endowed Fund was established at the Foundation with the direction of using the income from the fund to give $1000 each year to the Stella Wells Christmas Basket organization with the balance to be used in a wise and prudent manner to help the needy people in the community of Parsons, Kansas. Commercial Bank managed Mrs. Oden’s trust and transferred the amount bequested to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation for investment along with other Parsons Area Community Foundation funds invested in the Kansas City Foundation pools. However, the Parsons Area Community Foundation board subsequently voted to return the Oden Fund to Commercial Bank’s Trust Department for investment. All funds established with the Foundation have the option of being invested elsewhere with an approved fiduaciary manager, and since Mrs. Oden had known and trusted the officers at the bank, the Foundation board felt this would be the most appropriate.
Bonnie Oden worked for thirty years as a secretary at the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center, living frugally and saving her money. People who knew Bonnie well want others to know she was a kind, gentle woman, and the money she gifted was because she did without the extras to save her hard-earned money.
Since this fund is endowed, only the earnings on the fund will be distributed for grants. However, this year alone $1,000 was given to Stella Wells Christmas Baskets and $15,000 to the Labette Assistance Center. The wonder of an endowed gift is this will continue into perpetuity! What a remarkable woman, and what a difference her gift will make in years to come.