Time & Treasure

Kathy and Jeff Munzinger wanted to simplify their own lives in retirement, and wound up making life better for others

By Louise Knauer

Like many newly retired folks, Kathy Munzinger wanted to take a little time off before deciding where she wanted to spend her time and energy. She didn’t want to overcommit and she wanted to be a worker rather than a leader.

Her downtime didn’t last long. She became intrigued by Isabel’s House, Springfield’s crisis nursery for parents who need a safe place for their children so they can deal with emergency issues in their lives.

She and her husband, Jeff, became donors. Then, Kathy went through training and background checks and now volunteers for a regular 7–10 a.m. breakfast shift.

“There are different children and different challenges every time you come,” she says.

Kory Wilcox, community liaison with Isabel’s House, appreciates the couple’s financial and sweat equity.

“We can tell a lot of stories but until you’re on your hands and knees working with the kids, it can be hard to get the big picture,” he says.

Their other interests include Brentwood Christian Church, where both have served in leadership roles. Jeff is involved in Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri, the History Museum on the Square and has run for office; Kathy serves on The Kitchen Foundation board and as a longtime volunteer for the annual Black Tie Gala benefiting local LGBTQ nonprofits.

“We can tell a lot of stories but until you’re on your hands and knees working with the kids, it can be hard to get the big picture.” — Kory Wilcox, Isabel’s House

One of the goals the Munzingers had in selling their marine-industry sales business and related investments was to simplify their lives. Their desire to streamline led them to set up a donor-advised fund at the CFO. First, they designated a certain amount of their business proceeds for the fund; then, when they reach the age for mandatory IRA distributions, they’ll roll those into their fund and make grant recommendations on their own timetable. Jeff and Kathy want to involve their grown children in their charitable planning and have named them as successors for the endowed fund.

Jeff says they appreciate the convenience the fund offers and they also enjoy taking part in the CFO’s donor-education activities.

“We like the fact that we’ve been introduced to some new aspects of the community,” he says.

“It’s been very satisfying to make this commitment.”

This story is the first of seven donor profiles originally published in the CFO’s Annual Report for FY2017, which can be read in its entirety at www.cfozarks.org/publications. The donor profiles are found in the “Front of Book and Features” section of the publication.