Family to be honored for their giving spirit with Deo Gratias award
by Jessica Langdon
KANSAS CITY, Kan., — Mark McKinzie can’t think of a time when his parents said “no” if they knew there was a need.
Leonard and Ellen McKinzie, longtime parishioners of Curé of Ars Parish in Leawood, might not always have had money sitting in the bank just waiting for them to write a check. But they made sure no call for help from their church went unanswered.
“Their giving decisions were priorities in their lives,” said Mark.
The giving spirit they have demonstrated — and instilled in the next generation of their family — shines as an example to others.
The archdiocesan spotlight will shine in November on the Leonard and Ellen McKinzie family, along with Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park — where Mark and his wife Mary Pat are parishioners — for the charity they have displayed.
The Deo Gratias Awards dinner, which will take place at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kan., on Nov. 8, will honor both as recipients of this year’s Deo Gratias Award.
“The Deo Gratias Award is the highest honor presented by the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas for excellence in planned giving,” said planned giving officer Gary Pratt.
The awards recognize the impact of an individual or family and an organization.
“Holy Spirit is a champion of Legacy Society giving and has been an example for other parishes,” Pratt said.
The dinner will also recognize the dozens of new Catholic Legacy Society members, and parishes and schools that have achieved bronze and silver planned giving status.
Catholics can choose a number of methods of planned giving, which basically means providing a gift for charity at death, Pratt explained.
Gifts range from donor-advised funds and simple bequests to charitable gift annuities, named family funds and more.
Some are funded during life and others at death.
It is all part of a planned giving initiative, launched under the direction of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, designed to build a culture in which all Catholics include charity in their wills.
“Every family can start a named fund or endowment that their family can give to, to benefit their parish, local Catholic school, ministry or the archdiocese,” said Pratt.
The Catholic Legacy Society, in which parishioners have designated a local parish, school or ministry to benefit from a gift at their death, is part of the initiative.
The Deo Gratias Awards dinner, which begins with an invocation by Archbishop Naumann at 6:30 p.m., will bring together many parish leaders who serve in a wide variety of roles.
Phil Purcell, vice president of planned giving and endowment with the Ball State University Foundation in Muncie, Ind., will give a presentation, entitled “Building His Kingdom with Timeless Faith,” which ties into the initiative’s theme.
The awards dinner is free and is not a fundraiser. It is — as its Latin name “Deo Gratias” indicates — an opportunity to say, “Thanks be to God.”
That same day, CFNEK will also offer an investment portfolio review at 4 p.m. in the Keleher Conference Room at Savior, with special guest presenter Andy Klocke of Prairie Capital Management and investment manager of CFNEK’s actively managed portfolio.
Anyone interested in attending one or both events may register online at: www.cfnek.org/deogratias.
At 5 p.m., a reception will offer guests a chance to view beautiful pieces of art by women of several different religious orders in the archdiocese.
The McKinzie family, which has given in many ways through time as well as finances, looks forward to the Nov. 8 event.
“It’s a great honor and privilege,” said Mark McKinzie. “There are a lot of families in our archdiocese that are very, very generous. It’s nice to be recognized as one of the many.”
The McKinzie family includes Leonard and Ellen and their children: Mark and his wife, Mary Pat; daughter Linda McKinzie of Denver, Colo.; daughter Carol Kuhlmann and husband Kurt, who are members of St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee; and Paul McKinzie, a member of St. Paul Parish in Olathe.
When it comes to planned giving, Mark McKinzie has found that, given the right circumstances, donor-advised funds through CFNEK offer a great opportunity.
They allow participants to set money aside now and make giving decisions at a later date, he added.
“Giving is a great way to express your gratitude for what you’ve received in your life. I think it’s an obligation, if you’ve been very blessed, to share those blessings,” he said. “It can also be very rewarding for the soul.”
Planned giving for parishes
All parishes and schools may participate in the planned giving initiative by following these steps:
1) Create an endowment or fund ($5,000 minimum) with the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas.
2) Form a committee with two to seven parishioners and the pastor.
3) Track current and expected planned gifts.
4) Help launch a Catholic Legacy Society in your parish and provide member list to CFNEK.
5) Coordinate ongoing planned giving promotion and appreciation efforts with CFNEK.
Date: Nov. 8
4 p.m. — CFNEK investment portfolio report
5 p.m. — Reception and art exhibit featuring works of religious women from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
6:30-8:30 p.m. — Invocation and dinner, followed by awards, guest speaker Phil Purcell and closing benediction
To register, visit the website at: www.cfnek.org/deogratias.