Announcing The Raymond L & Alice N Harris Fishtrap Endowment for Aspiring Writers
Fishtrap is pleased to announce that the children of Raymond and Alice Harris have established an endowment fund for Fishtrap in their parents’ honor. This endowment fund will support, in perpetuity, Fishtrap’s efforts to cultivate aspiring creative writers in the West. We are deeply grateful to the Harris family for this gift.
About Raymond and Alice Harris
Raymond and Alice met in 1934 at the Tiller Ranger Station in Oregon. He was a 27 year old mule skinner and she was a 19 year old college student. They married in 1935 and
moved to Wallowa County in 1939, where they raised six children. Alice was honored as Oregon Mother of the Year in 1964 and was always active in the community. Ray was a police officer and later ran the Shell distributorship. In the 1960s, Ray and Alice joined with the Buhler and McClaran families to establish the Educational Day Camp at the Buhler Ranch at the base of Mt Joseph so that Native American children and Wallowa county youth could learn together. Alice was a dedicated writer and photographer. Ray died tragically in a helicopter crash in 1967, and in 1970 Alice moved to McMinnville. She passed on July 14, 2011.
Over the course of 14 years, between 1993 and 2006, Alice Harris attended numerous Fishtrap writing workshops. After her failing health prevented her from attending, she and her son, Bill Harris, offered scholarship support to aspiring writers who could not otherwise afford to go. In 1993, after attending a Fishtrap workshop, Alice Harris said, “The Fishtrap experience has given me incentive to continue writing of my ancestors’ experiences in the West and of my own remembrances of growing up in Oregon.” By 1988 she had determined to write a biography of her mother. Although she never finished her book, her writing was published in several anthologies and enjoyed by her family and many others.
About the Endowment
In the winter of 2011, the Harris children and their friends pooled resources to open the endowment with more than $29,000. Fishtrap has contracted with the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) to administer the endowment fund. OCF is a statewide nonprofit organization that administers permanent charitable funds and has an excellent investment track record. OCF currently administers over 1,500 permanent funds with assets over $1 billion.
OCF has invested the principal and will return part of the profit each year to support Fishtrap’s program work. As the fund grows, and especially as people add to that fund, the amount available for Fishtrap programs increases. In this way, the endowment fund will be maintained in perpetuity to provide a stable stream of income that will allow Fishtrap to support aspiring writers for years to come.
This endowment is a significant step for Fishtrap. It lays the foundation for a stable, reliable, long term source of support for Fishtrap and increases Fishtrap’s ability to nurture the many people who have creative potential but not a lot of opportunity to cultivate it.
People interested in making a donation to the endowment fund may make cash contributions (cash, check, credit card) directly to Fishtrap to be added to the Raymond L. and Alice N. Harris Fishtrap Endowment Fund for Aspiring Writers. Fishtrap can also accept gifts such as securities, personal property, and real property.
Prospective donors also have the option of making a planned gift, often called a deferred gift, which will ultimately benefit Fishtrap’s endowment fund. A bequest, made through the donor’s will or living trust, is the most direct form of planned gift. Bequests are easy to establish and the estate receives a tax deduction for 100% of the value of the gift.
Charitable Remainder Trusts and gift annuities are planned gifts that allow a donor to make a gift to Fishtrap, enjoy income for life or a specified number of years, and obtain an income or estate tax benefit. Assets remaining at the termination of the trust or gift annuity will be added to the Endowment Fund to provide ongoing support for Fishtrap.
Anyone interested in exploring options for making a gift to the Raymond L. and Alice N. Harris Fishtrap Endowment Fund for Aspiring Writers may call Ann Powers or Amy Zahm at the Fishtrap office: 541-426-3623. All gifts help build the endowment and support Fishtrap’s creative writing programs for the future.