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Donor Stories

Forever Society Member Spotlight: Jean Gitz Bassett

June 30, 2020

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

When Jean Gitz Bassett passed away in 2018, she left part of her estate to La Crosse Community Foundation with directions to support her Jean Gitz Bassett Fund and create the new Jean Gitz Bassett First Presbyterian Church of La Crosse Fund. The first is a field of interest fund used in LCF’s competitive grantmaking program to support projects that strengthen families. The latter is a designated fund established to forever support Jean’s church.

Jean is well-known for her contributions to philanthropy, community engagement, and pioneering the way for women in the field of broadcasting. Jean served on many local nonprofit boards, was one of the first women broadcast station owners/managers in the nation, was the second woman ever to receive the local Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 1988, and to top it all off, was crowned Mrs. Oktoberfest in 1989. A longtime friend of Jean’s recalled that her home was filled with over 150 plaques and awards for her contributions to the community.

Loved for her get-it-done-right attitude and positivity, Jean gave energy and focus to those she served. In an interview in “The Road She Traveled,” Jean said, “I do what needs to get done, and I help people in our community without wanting anything in return. To me, seeing people that I helped living a decent life is the best reward anyone can give me.”

LCF is humbled and honored to be entrusted with her treasure; we will protect it and ensure it serves to continue her dedication to real impact in our community, forever.