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The Gift That Keeps Giving

posted by Katie Slade on Friday, October 16, 2015

We are pleased to share with you a very generous gift in the amount of over $627,000 has been left to the Exceptional Persons Foundation Endowment by Barbara W. Emerson. 
 
Barbara was born on October 19, 1921, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She later married Ralph Emerson. The two moved a couple of times until settling in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area for a number of years in part because their daughter, Barbara Diane Emerson, was placed at the Woodward community. 
 
Later in their lives, Ralph and Barbara moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Where Barbara later passed away on January 30, 2015, at the age of 93.
 
”When I think of Barbara I think of her dedication to all of the mentally disabled, of her willingness to expend efforts wherever necessary to bring about a better way of life for the individual and his/her family. Her motivation seemed to have provided for others what was not available to her and her family.” Written by Mrs. Bunge, who knew Barbara from their work with the ARC, in a letter shared with us dated September 16,1975. 
 
Barbara played an integral role in EPI’s creation. In fact, she and Helen Henderson have been credited with recruiting EPI’s first Executive Director, Bill Brown, in 1957. She then worked alongside Bill as his secretary for many years. She not only gave of her time to EPI but to countless other organizations in 
the area.  
 
Barbara’s gift to the permanent endowment will benefit EPI for years to come - assuring that persons with disabilities served by EPI will have the supports they need well into 
the future. 
 
These supports include finding and keeping a job, safe and affordable houses to call home, respite services, and much more. Perhaps supporting the very life Ralph and Barbara once dreamed of for their daughter.

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