For Mark and Katy Bradford, giving back to the community is more than a hobby, it’s a passion. After moving to Bloomington in 1990 for Mark’s work at Monroe Bank, now Old National Bank, they did not hesitate to go to work volunteering and supporting their new home.
In fact, between the two of them, they have served as volunteers and supporters of 16 different local organizations and nonprofits. The Bradfords did this all while raising their three sons, Matt, Mike, and John. Mark first got involved with the Community Foundation when it was just being formed in 1990, and later became a board member. He was drawn to the sustainability the Community Foundation could offer Monroe County.
“I think it is important to have a strong Community Foundation, and the dollars are particularly helpful during difficult economic times,” Mark said. “During a recession, the Foundation is able to support the community and local nonprofits in a relatively consistent manner at a time when charitable giving typically decreases.”
Mark also led the Community Foundation in its first corporate campaign with the goal of raising $1 million from local businesses. Because of Mark’s leadership, the Foundation exceeded its goal and raised $1,037,000.
“Old National Bank made a $100,000 multi-year pledge to the Community Foundation, and in doing so, we wanted to leverage the contribution for the greatest benefit,” said Mark. “We reached out to leaders in the business community to tell them why ONB made the decision to support the Community Foundation, and ask if their business would consider a corporate gift. I was blown away by the generosity of the local businesses.”
Because they have given back in so many diverse ways, the Community Foundation was a perfect vehicle for Mark and Katy to create a lasting philanthropic legacy that would provide for many of the nonprofits they love. Katy and Mark chose to create a legacy through a gift in their estate by naming the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of a retirement plan.
Mark said,“Our number one estate-planning priority is to assist our children and grandchildren, but we determined they would not miss the 5% of our estate we are investing in the Community Foundation. We determined that Bloomington has been very good to us as we raised our children, and are enjoying being ‘empty nesters,’ so we wanted to give back to this wonderful community.”
Katy and Mark know they aren’t alone in caring deeply for Monroe County. Mark hopes that others will join him and Katy in looking to improve our community both now and in the future.
“Don’t put it off the way I did,” Mark said. “We are currently working with an attorney in updating our estate planning documents, but the process is very simple. The Community Foundation provided us with a relatively short document to review, sign and incorporate into our will. It has been exciting to think that Katy and I will be leaving a small legacy to benefit the community long after we are gone.”
Katy and Mark have been married for 37 years and have three sons – Matt (35), Mike (33) and John (32). Matt is married to Sara Cotner, and they have two sons – Henry (7) and Tate (5). Matt and Mike live in Austin, Texas, and John lives in Los Angeles.
Katy has been a board member and/or active volunteer for the following Bloomington organizations – YMCA, Boys & Girls Club Auxiliary, Bloomington Country Club, Childs School PTO, Cutters Soccer, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity. Mark has been a board member and/or active volunteer for the United Way, Bloomington Hospital Foundation, Bloomington Hospital (IU Health Bloomington), Boys and Girls Club, Community Foundation of Monroe County and Bloomington, Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI), Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), Monroe County Community School Corporation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Ivy Tech Community College.