‘Reasons’ for Giving Back
Roger Reason’s roots with the Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) run throughout the organization’s 25-year history.
He served on the HCCF board of directors from 1992-2003 and was chair of the board for two years. Then in 2016, he established his second fund through HCCF with his wife, Beverly.
As one of the few estate planners in the community in HCCF’s infancy, Roger picked up on his clients’ interests in leaving charitable legacies. He began to share the vision of a community foundation and the power of endowment building with the people who came through his doors, and many of the first funds established at HCCF are due to Reason’s work.
“I became passionate about the idea,” Roger states. “Working with such incredible people, fellow board members, staff, and most importantly compassionate donors provided a wonderful opportunity in my life for which I will always be grateful.”
In addition to talking the talk, Roger has walked the walk – he has established two funds through HCCF.
The first is the W. H. and Lola Reason Endowment for Patriotism Fund that supports programs and initiatives in an effort to educate the youth of Hancock County about the sacrifices men and women made in protecting the United States during World War II.
Roger’s father served in the U. S. Army during World War II as a part of Battery C, 756th Field Artillery Battalion. He risked his life in the Southwest Pacific invasions of Luzon, Philippines, on January 9, 1945, and New Guinea, on his way to invading the Empire of Japan.
Roger penned the fund agreement himself within an hour of his father’s passing in 1999.
“I was blessed to be with my father in attending the final reunion of his fellow soldiers prior to his death. His fellow soldiers, now in their upper 80s, told me how my father had a calmness and sense of purpose that helped them carry out their orders. They all looked up to him,” Roger recalls.
“Certainly I was proud of my father and of my mother who, during the war, made gun sights at Lucas Herald in Indianapolis. My parents were a part of what we now all consider the greatest generation of Americans. It is very important to me that we remember the past to improve upon the future. That generation set a high bar for us, and we can’t hope to achieve parity with the accomplishments of those forefathers if future generations aren’t even told about their accomplishments.”
Roger established his second fund with Beverly in 2016 – the Roger D. and Beverly J. Reason Charitable Endowment Fund. This fund provides support for Hancock County organizations that address food insecurity through the provision of related resources to those in need of nourishment.
Roger participated on the Child Protection Team in Hancock County early in his career as a lawyer and was shocked by the many needs of his neighbors in the community where he grew up. Beverly witnessed the results of poverty as the business manager at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation her entire career. It was these realizations and their strong Christian faith that led them to establish a fund supporting what they believe is “one of the most basic rights of everyone.”
“Our eyes were opened when we began attending a small United Methodist Church in Palmetto, Florida. This church supports a robust food pantry that services as many as 130 new families each month. We were stunned, and as a result, we support this endeavor through our church,” Beverly says. “No one should be deprived of proper and adequate nourishment.”
In retirement, the Reasons now split time between living in Florida and Hawaii.
“The county was good to both of us, and there is no better place to give back to a community than Hancock County,” Beverly concludes. “We moved to Florida in December 2014, but our hearts will forever belong to Hancock County.”