July 30, 2015—Celebrated across the country for its charitable spirit and known for its growing medical/healthcare community, Grand Rapids provides unparalleled amenities and services to residents across the region in part through the generous contributions of local donors, including the charitable efforts of the late Dr. Jack and Katy Lukens. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation proudly announces that the legacy of the Lukens will long be carried on through a realized bequest of more than $2 million from the couple’s estate.
The substantial gift made by the Lukens estate has been added to a Donor Advised Fund at Grand Rapids Community Foundation, bringing the Fund’s total to more than $3 million, thus making it one of the Community Foundation’s top Donor Advised Funds. The adult children of the couple will advise on grants awarded by the Fund – the largest established by a physician.
“Grand Rapids has experienced tremendous improvements and growth over the past two decades as a result of the extreme generosity of donors like the Lukens’,” said Marilyn Zack, vice president of development for the Community Foundation. “Such donations play a vital role in strengthening essential programs and services throughout the community. With a Donor Advised Fund, the Community Foundation manages the assets and administration of the Fund so that the family can focus on making grants to support organizations they care about.”
Prior to Dr. Lukens’ death in March 2015, the Fund supported local arts organizations and a number of national nonprofits that focused on health and education.
“They cared about their family, their friends and others,” said Janet Dietsch, the Lukens’ daughter. “That is why my dad took the time to listen to his patients, why my mom visited people in the nursing home, and why they made donations to organizations that support education, health, the arts and housing.”
The couple, originally from Vincennes, Indiana, settled in Grand Rapids in 1956 when Dr. Lukens opened an internal medicine and gastroenterology practice. At the time he was the only gastroenterologist in the community and served as the President of the Kent County Medical Society.
“My parents deeply cared about family, friends, our community and dad’s patients,” said David Lukens, the couple’s son. “It is not surprising to learn that their generous gift was substantial and also unique among physicians. It is wonderful that they will be remembered through this Fund, but more importantly, that it will greatly impact people within our community. I encourage other physicians, medical professionals and all who wish to help our community to contact Grand Rapids Community Foundation for assistance.”
The endowment allows the Dr. Jack and Katy Lukens Fund to continue in perpetuity. After the death of the last successor advisor, the Fund will become unrestricted, but will always bear the name of its founders.
For more information on The Dr. Jack and Katy Lukens Fund or Donor Advisor Funds at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, visit www.grfoundation.org.