fbpx

La Crosse County Emergency Response Fund activated in response to COVID-19. More details here.

Donor Stories

Donor Spotlight: Magerus-McKinney Fund

June 25, 2021

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

All about the Magerus-McKinney donor advised fund

John Magerus and Everett McKinney are the type of people you love to have in your community. They care deeply about the welfare of others, and are not shy about their desire to make an impact. And with homes in both La Crosse and Racine, you might not be surprised to hear they have funds at more than one community foundation.

John and Everett met at a summer workshop for French teachers in Madison 27 years ago when John was a French professor at UW-La Crosse, and Everett at The Prairie School in Racine. The latter part of their careers was in administrative roles: John as a dean and Everett as the high school principal.

Everett McKinney and John Magerus

Everett and John travelling in France

In addition to their shared passion for the French language, the now retired men enjoy traveling, history, and the arts. Everett is a classically-trained professional singer and served on Racine Symphony’s board of directors. John is writing a book, is an archivist, and an active genealogist.

A mutual passion for giving where they’re living

The pair has donor advised funds in their name at both La Crosse Community Foundation and Racine Community Foundation. And a third was created in Oklahoma City after John’s parents passed, set up by family to honor their lives of service and helping others. All three funds are used to support different areas of interest in each respective community.

“The thing I like about these funds is the anonymity of the donation. Nonprofits aren’t beating on your door, it’s money that comes when it’s needed. We’ve supported for many years a Catholic nun who has a food pantry and helped buy a van for her because she delivers sandwiches for people who are living under bridges. Somebody else is doing the work and we’re providing the means for doing it,” shared John.

Using their LCF fund to support the La Crosse area

John and Everett are regular supporters of The Center: 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection in La Crosse, supported the growth of a Hmong collection at the La Crosse Historical Society, and used their fund to support the new Black Empowerment Fund at the foundation.

“It’s community. You’re supporting something that’s really needed in your community which gives us civic and community pride.” ~ Everett McKinney