The Paul Clarke Legacy Society was established to recognize the generosity and vision of donors who have made a commitment to our community through the lasting impact of a planned gift. It is comprised of individuals who have made known their intent to create permanent funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne – either during their lifetimes or through estate planning.
Becoming a member of the Legacy Society is easy. By completing a statement of intent and notifying us of your gift through a bequest, a charitable trust, life insurance or other planned gift, you can become a member of the Paul Clarke Legacy Society and have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a gift of a lifetime.
By entrusting gifts to the Community Foundation, donors can ensure that their contributions will be used wisely to address future community needs, and that their personal legacies will be extended far beyond their lifetimes. Other key benefits include:
- Naming your charitable fund. We encourage you to use your gift to honor the name of your family or loved ones. Or if you prefer, you may choose anonymity instead.
- Attending special events such as our annual Paul Clarke Legacy Society Luncheon. We will introduce you to other generous and forward thinking people who have also included our community in their estate plans.
- Receiving recognition in special Community Foundation publications. We would like to give others the opportunity to follow your example of community stewardship and leadership.
Paul Clarke began his career as an attorney in private practice for 28 years in Cleveland. At the height of his success in Cleveland, a good friend offered him an opportunity to become corporate counsel and Executive Vice President of a small but promising van line company in Fort Wayne. He accepted and moved to Fort Wayne to receive a salary that was one-third of the pay he had made at his law practice in the previous year. His wife and other friends thought he was crazy but even so, Paul and Helen Clarke moved to Fort Wayne in 1954 where he was key in the growth of North American Van Lines.
Mr. Clarke was a wealthy man by the time he retired in 1970 from North American. Upon his retirement, Mr. Clarke took on the task of becoming the Executive Director for the Community Foundation. Having served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for a year, he was interested in growing the Community Foundation’s assets. He thought it had the potential to do quite a bit of good in the charitable affairs of the community. During his tenure as Executive Director, he and Mrs. Clarke contributed millions of dollars through stock donations. These contributions accounted for the rapid growth of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne since 1985, after their passing.