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Trinka and Don Waters

Trinka and Don Waters
Trinka and Don Waters have a passion for the Elgin community. While they weren’t born and raised here, Elgin has been their home for more than 35 years. “We’ve both always felt the only way you can make a difference is to get involved and we wanted to teach the values of volunteerism and altruism to our daughters,” said Don.

Some of their activities include Trinka’s 24 years with Community Crisis Center, first as a volunteer and then as the assistant director. One of her many accomplishments was to help create a partnership between ECC’s dental program and Community Crisis Center so those families in need could receive free dental care. She is also the recipient of a D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award from Judson University in 2008. Don has served on the Elgin City Council, as president of the local Kiwanis Club, Golden Corridor Economic Development Council, and National Council for Resource Development, as vice president of the board of the local United Way, as a former member and current emeritus member of the ECC Foundation board of directors, and currently as co-founder and co-facilitator of the Elgin Leadership Academy.

Early in Don’s career, he served as a vice president for Elgin Community College and was asked to explore the creation of a foundation after the College received a grant for that purpose. “There was never enough money to meet student needs so the creation of the ECC Foundation was a way to address that problem,” Don shared.

As part of Trinka and Don’s commitment to the College, they decided to make a gift of life insurance. They agreed, “For us, it was a way for our current gifts to have a more significant impact because the relatively small cost of the premium will eventually result in a much larger gift to the Foundation. It was also a unique idea that looks toward the future and we hoped it would help other supporters realize there are many ways to assist the Foundation and ECC’s students.”

Life insurance can be a very flexible and effective means to support your favorite program or create an endowed scholarship at ECC. There are several ways to make a gift of life insurance:
  • Name the ECC Foundation as a secondary or final beneficiary on an existing policy
  • Name the ECC Foundation as owner of a policy that no longer requires premium payments
  • Name the ECC Foundation as owner of a policy that still has premiums being paid; you agree to make an annual tax-deductible gift to the Foundation equal to the premium payment amount
  • Purchase a new policy and name ECC Foundation as owner and beneficiary; you agree to make an annual tax-deductible gift to the Foundation equal to the premium payment amount

The couple recently met with ECC Foundation staff to determine the name and purpose for their fund. “Our goal is to help students through scholarship,” said Trinka. In order to make the funds as accessible as possible to students, only two criteria were important: financial need and that the recipients’ coursework be credit-earning. Because the fund will be endowed, the Trinka and Don Waters Scholarship will provide much-needed support for future generations of ECC students.

In recognition of Trinka and Don’s commitment to ECC through their estate plans, they have joined the Spartan Legacy Society, a group established to recognize those individuals who have included and notified the Foundation of their estate planning arrangements.

Don and Trinka plan to enjoy life for a long time to come but know that, through their forethought and careful planning, they are leaving a lasting legacy to the students of Elgin Community College.

Planned giving provides many creative strategies that may allow you to make a gift far beyond your expectations. To learn more, contact the ECC Foundation Office at 847-214-7377.

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