Celebrating a Legacy

Karen & Arlen Knight recognized as 2016 Outstanding Legacy Supporters

Members of the Heritage Club gathered at the El Encanto Hotel on June 1, 2016 to celebrate and to be celebrated for their legacies to this community.  The honorees were treated to a panoramic view of Santa Barbara and a sumptuous lunch which was generously sponsored by Dennis and Jeff Forster of the Forster Group at Morgan Stanley.

Arlen and Karen Knight received special recognition as the 2016 Outstanding Legacy Supporters for making extraordinary contributions to the growth of United Way’s Endowment.  Diane Doiron, chair of United Way’s Planned Giving Committee presented the award to Karen, who accepted it on behalf of herself and her late husband.

Arlen and Karen became Heritage Club members in 1992 when they funded a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) with his family business and named United Way as the remainder beneficiary.   Selling the business in the CRT was a win/win for their family and for the people of this community.   As Karen’s passion grew for the importance of what United Way is doing within the community, she decided to become part of the great work being done in Santa Barbara County as United Way’s Leadership Services Officer. During her 15 years with United Way, Karen shared her enthusiasm for United Way’s extraordinary accomplishments, particularly in the area of improving literacy among youth and the underprivileged.  Karen and Arlen led by example as annual Leadership donors to United Way and as Heritage Club members. Arlen passed away on December 26, 2015, but his legacy will continue to improve the lives of so many people for generations to come.

Paul Didier, President and CEO announced that he will be stepping down next year and took a look back over his more than 40 years at the helm of United Way of Santa Barbara County.  Paul and his wife Bobbi were among United Way’s first Heritage Club members, and they recently announced a second major legacy gift, The Didier Innovation Fund.  This is a perpetual fund to further their philanthropic goals and will allow United Way’s Board of Directors the flexibility to tap into this fund when the opportunity arises to make a significant impact on this community at a time when the funds are most needed.   

If you have named United Way in your estate plan, please let us know so we might have the opportunity to thank you and recognize you as a member of the Heritage Club.   To learn more about joining the Heritage Club, please contact our Gift Planning Services Officer, Judy Goodbody, CFRE, CRTP at 965-8591 ext.120 or email jgoodbody@unitedwaysb.org or visit our website at www.unitedwaysb.org/giftplanning.  Judy can assist you with your philanthropic goals through personally designed charitable gift planning.