Date: August 22nd, 2018

Endowment Fund Means the Elaine Houtakker May Scholarship Can Last Forever

Elaine Catherine Houtakker graduated from Belmont High School in 1957. The daughter of Vince and Dolores Fowler Houtakker, she was one of seven children. In late 1958, Elaine married Jack May, who grew up on a farm near Mineral Point. During their nearly 42 years together, the Mays lived the motto – We Will Find a Path or Make One. They parented four boys building their confidence by repeatedly sharing the message: “If you want to do something, you can find a way to do it.”

Elaine Houtakker May

Elaine passed away in 2000; and, Jack has honored Elaine and her heritage through a scholarship, given to a Belmont High School graduate with at least a B average that will pursue a four-year degree. To date, the scholarship has been funded on an annual basis. This summer, Jack decided to make it permanent.

Working through the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin (CFSW) and its local affiliate, the Belmont School Funds advisory board, Jack funded an endowment. An endowment is a forever fund, meaning that an annual allocation of earnings provides the monies for the scholarship which allows it to continue in perpetuity.

To create an endowment with the Community Foundation that benefits a Belmont graduate, simply contact a member of the Belmont School Funds advisory board, the Belmont High School guidance counselor or the regional representative for the Community Foundation. In consultation with a CFSW representative, individuals work through the criteria that should be used forever in selecting the recipient. Donors commit to a donation/gift of at least $25,000 (which can be done over a 3-year period), review a fund agreement that includes the name the donor gives to the fun, and its specified criteria. They then sign the fund agreement and make the gift. Fund creators also have the option of presenting the scholarship annually and receiving information about the recipient. Recipients are encouraged to send thank you notes to donors.

The Elaine Houtakker May “We Will Find a Path or Make One” Scholarship is the fifth family-named endowment established through the Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, for the benefit of Belmont graduates. The other endowments honor Charles & Alice Van Bogaert; Harold A. Vickers; Wayne Mester, established by Hubert & Joyce Mester; and Frederick & Helen Rehmstedt.

Those interested in establishing an endowment fund should contact any of the following volunteer advisory board members: Chad Bahr, Emily Christensen, Jeff Crase, MJ Dachelet, Mary Demo, Tammy Haag, Dee McConnell, Kathy Riechers, and Kim Schmelz. You may also talk with Christy Larson, District Superintendent; Brandon Wiese, Guidance Counselor; or Barb Daus ([email protected]), the regional representation for the Community Foundation.