What started as a conversation between Stewart and Doris Lemke and their children has resulted in a wonderful gift for the Hawkins area, $100,000 to establish the Hawkins Forever Fund. The Lemke children, Tina Lemke, Linde Vacho, Dinah Hahn and Todd Lemke had this to say about their parents:
“Our mother, Doris Lemke, was a grateful person and would often talk of the loving and caring people of Hawkins. Our father, Stewart Lemke was born, raised, and lived his entire life in Hawkins among its residents. They lived a very happy life in Hawkins and never had thoughts of living anywhere else.”
Dinah Hahn served several terms as secretary for the Rusk County Community Foundation during its formative years and was familiar with the power of community endowed funds and how they can benefit the community. The siblings said the following about why they decided to create this fund:
“Doris and Stew had expressed the desire that a charitable fund be started for the Hawkins community and per that desire, and in their honor, we have started an everlasting fund, which allows our family and others to give continued support to the Hawkins area. The Hawkins Forever Fund was established with the intent that all could contribute according to their own wishes. We hope that others will want to help this fund grow, thus helping the Hawkins area and those that live there, now and in the future.”
The Hawkins Forever Fund is the newest of 30 endowed funds under management by the Rusk County Community Foundation. Started in 2001, the all-volunteer, non-profit RCCF was established to provide professionally managed services by which individuals, families, and businesses can contribute both lifetime and estate gifts for the betterment of their Rusk County communities. The Foundation has grown steadily over the years, surpassing $3 million under management, with each fund having its own unique charitable mission.