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“We Lived”

What will remain when you are gone? Many people have children, and can proudly point to them as a legacy of their time on earth. Others have built companies that will stand the test of time. Obviously those who know and love you will not allow your memory to be forgotten once you’re gone, but what about people who don’t know you? Is there a way to give back to generations that haven’t even been born yet? Do you feel compelled to do something like that, in gratitude for all you’ve been given?

Not too many years ago, my predecessor Caroline Gist started a unique funding opportunity which provides such an opportunity for those who are interested. We call it the Leo and Mary Ruth Mayfield Legacy Society, named after our beloved former superintendent and his wife who was an art teacher in Putnam City. The plaque, which shows all the enrollees, reads in part, “our philanthropy will leave a legacy that is a lasting record that we were here. We lived.” Many people have used this opportunity to honor loved ones and the district that nurtured you at the same time.

Our most recent enrollees into this group are last year’s Wall of Fame honoree Ross Swimmer and First Bethany Bank. On his nameplate, Mr. Swimmer dedicated his gift to the band at Putnam City High School, in which he played the clarinet. First Bethany Bank has enrolled in the Legacy Society twice now, showing their deep commitment to Putnam City Schools, which educates most of Bethany’s children.

You might think one needs to be very wealthy to make a gift deemed “worthy” of a legacy society, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You could name the Putnam City Schools Foundation as a beneficiary in your will as both Caroline and I have done, by simply letting your attorney know that the first $5,000 of your estate should go to the Putnam City Schools Foundation. You could even create an IRA dedicated to the Putnam City Schools Foundation to pay out upon your death. The options for making such a gift are as limitless as the number of people willing to make them.

There are many ways to make a difference in Putnam City, and the Mayfield Legacy Society is but one. Please reach out to me if you’d like more information about it, or check on our website for specific language you could share with your financial advisors at

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