The late Marie Hinsvark of Canby made a tremendous gift to Southwest Initiative Foundation through her estate when she passed away in September 2016. A private individual all her life, it’s only in her passing many have realized her remarkable interest in and capacity for giving.
“Marie was incredibly generous and thoughtful about supporting the things she cared about,” said Diana Anderson, President and CEO of Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF). “She felt fortunate to be in a position to give back, but she was so incredibly quiet about that part of her life.”
As Marie considered how she and her husband, Glenn, had been blessed, she chose to remember a number of organizations that had touched their lives, including SWIF and our fund partner, the Blue and Gold Foundation, which supports scholarships for Canby High School students.
SWIF’s board of directors designated a portion of Marie’s gift to Grow Our Own, our initiative to close the opportunity gap youth face in southwest Minnesota. Her gift immediately multiplied the impact of our work by giving us the resources to focus our energy into mobilizing partners, completing regional research and figuring out the best way to help kids thrive from cradle to career. Because of that funding, Grow Our Own got off the ground quickly, and its strong momentum continues.
“It’s really an investment in the kids, in the future of southwest Minnesota. Marie cared a lot about kids, and I think she’d be very happy with what we decided to do with her gift,” Diana said. “As a community, I think it’s important to take a moment to thank her and to remember her.”
Marie Rose Hinsvark was born in rural Lincoln County in 1927, just before the Great Depression. After graduating high school, she received her teaching certificate and married Glenn Hinsvark, the love of her life. They shared 46 years of marriage before Glenn passed away in 1994.
The couple lived in California and Maryland before returning to Canby in 1979. Marie was a quiet fixture of the community and an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. She enjoyed gardening, her beloved pets, volunteer work, Cryptoquips and watching the Minnesota Twins.
Canby resident Nancy DeVos remembers Marie, her neighbor of many years, as someone who kept to herself, but was very generous and friendly. Marie would pick fallen fruit from Nancy’s backyard apple tree – though Nancy encouraged her to take right from the branches – and make pies.
“She’d give me two or three, so we’d have fresh apple pies during the winter. She was just a sweetheart,” Nancy said. “Our kids loved her.”
Charitable Remainder Trust
Marie’s gift to Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) came from a charitable remainder trust, which she set up with the help of her financial advisor and Diana Anderson, who at that time was SWIF’s development director. During her lifetime, Marie received a stream of income from the trust as well as tax benefits. When she passed away, the remainder of the trust assets were given to the organizations she chose. This planned giving tool helped her accomplish real charitable and financial goals.
“Planned giving is just having that thoughtful conversation about the things you care about,” Diana said. “It’s really a story of how anyone can be a philanthropist. The size of the gift doesn’t matter.”
If you’re interested in a legacy gift to support southwest Minnesota, contact Community Philanthropy Director Liz Cheney to discuss what is important to you and learn how we can help.
Though Marie and Glenn Hinsvark had no children of their own, Canby’s kids were close to Marie’s heart. How fitting, then, that the community’s students will receive Marie’s support through her gift to the Blue and Gold Foundation, a partner fund of Southwest Initiative Foundation. Post-secondary education is a key part of Grow Our Own, providing career on-ramps for success that help all students on the road toward a life of meaningful employment and social engagement.
Since 1985, Blue and Gold has helped people to share the blessings of their lives with future generations. Its goal is to lead the community in providing the opportunity for every student graduating from Canby High School (CHS) to earn a $1,000 scholarship, as well as several additional scholarships of varying amounts available through Blue and Gold.
Each student who successfully completes at least one semester of schooling after receiving his or her diploma from CHS is eligible to apply for the scholarship. In 2018, the Canby community is planning to celebrate awarding more than $500,000 in scholarships since Blue and Gold was founded.