Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

St. Francis Foundation Ceases to Operate

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

St. Francis Foundation Ceases to Operate

Article excerpt

The St. Francis Health Foundation shut its doors Monday, closing down as St. Francis Health transitions to become a for-profit facility.

All assets of the nonprofit foundation will be kept in the Topeka community, said Lucky DeFries, a Topeka attorney who served as chairman of the foundation's board.

"There was never any question but that the funds that were within the foundation were going to stay and be available for local causes," he said. "That was absolutely the case, but what did need to happen was once we knew there was going to be some sort of transition, was to go back and do a really pretty exhaustive search of all the original records of the donors' intent."

That was important because the board wanted to make sure that to the best extent possible, the intent of the funds would be carried through in the future, DeFries said. Digging through those records was a painstaking process because there have been hundreds of donors since the foundation was formed in 1990.

"We are in the process of finalizing details to dissolve the St. Francis Health Foundation and transition assets to other nonprofits in the Topeka community," said Megan Mahncke, vice president, chief development officer of SCL Health. "We have identified great local partners who will ensure dollars donated will be used in ways aligned with donor intent, and that all dollars will stay in the Topeka community. We are in the midst of finalizing details with Topeka Community Foundation, and will share more information once everything has been formally completed."

In a letter posted on the foundation website, Mahncke said a St. Francis Fund has been established at the Topeka Community Foundation where "dollars will be reserved for projects and programs that follow original donor intent."

In addition, some two endowed funds will be set up at Washburn University to fulfill donor intent for continuing education opportunities. …

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