Legacy giving allows Steamboat retiree to make lasting mark on community | SteamboatToday.com

Legacy giving allows Steamboat retiree to make lasting mark on community

Warren Luce, and his wife, Valerie Davia, plan to give back to the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Warren Luce understands what it means to be “there” for his community, but he recently made some personal decisions that will ensure his impact lasts even after he is gone.

“We are very much aware of legacy giving,” said Luce, who is active in the Steamboat Springs community. “I think it is foolish not to lay out how you want things to go, when you go.”

Luce, who is retired, has been a Steamboat Tennis Association board member, and for the past two years, has served as executive director. He is an avid tennis player and gets on the court, along with his wife Valerie Davia, a couple of times a week. 

But he said his involvement with the STA is more about giving back to the community. He said he treasures the chance to work with young people, and he loves that children in Steamboat Springs can go to the Tennis Center and learn a game they can continue to play throughout their lives.

“Compared to other communities, I have never seen a recreational facility that is so nice,” Luce said.  “When players from other towns come here for a tournament or to play matches, they all marvel at how wonderful our facility is, and we want it to keep going.”

So when Luce and his wife recently updated their wills, they named the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Maintenance Fund, which is held by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, as a beneficiary.

“Our wills were 20 years old, so we were in the process of updating them,” Luce said. “One of the things we felt strongly about was the endowment fund for the tennis and pickleball centers. The Tennis Center at Steamboat is a fantastic resource, and we enjoy it very much, so we wanted to leave some money behind when we are gone, so the next generation can enjoy it as well.”

But Luce and Davia’s philanthropic vision goes beyond the confines of a tennis court.

The couple plans to give some money to his alma mater with a gift to the electrical engineering department at California Polytechnic State University. They will also leave some money to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and providing justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Another group named in their will is the Rails to Trails Conservancy, which preserves unused rail corridors and turns them into linear parks and trail systems.

“We picked four things that were really important to us both, and the Tennis Center was one of them,” Davia said.

Luce said he wished more people would consider legacy giving.

“It would be great if other people thought about legacy giving and did the same thing,” Luce said. “If you don’t think about it and set it into the instructions, the executor of your will not know what you wanted to have happen with your estate.”

The Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Maintenance Fund, which was started last August, has enjoyed steady growth.

Loretta Conway, the Tennis Center’s business development director, said the fund now has more than $20,000 in it. She is hoping that trend will continue and people will be inspired to donate to the fund on Yampa Valley Gives Day on Dec. 5. 

“It is the first time that someone has left a legacy gift to the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Fund,” Conway said. “That’s what we were hoping for when we first started the fund — that people would want to give legacy gifts like this, so that we can keep the Tennis Center going into the future.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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