Supporters Like You
Good people like you are stepping forward to help Heifer Foundation make a bigger difference for communities in great need. Making our mission part of your life and legacy puts you in their honored company.
Read about their journey with Heifer, and you may discover a reflection of your own passion for ending hunger and poverty. Together, we can inspire even more donors to step forward to make a difference!
Velma and Rich Perry
VELMA AND RICH PERRY
Velma and Rich still fondly recall when their daughter took a church youth group trip to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. It was an event that continues to impact their lives today.
“On a cross-country vacation years later, we decided to take all three of our children to visit the Ranch first-hand,” Velma remembers. During that visit, she and Rich were so impressed by Heifer’s animal husbandry and training, they decided to set up a charitable remainder trust through Heifer Foundation.
The Perrys were grateful for the significant time and attention the Heifer staff offered them in navigating the steps of establishing their estate plan. Rich adds that, “We appreciate the fact that Heifer even administers the other charities our estate will support. That’s a weight lifted off of us and our family as well … I cannot say enough about how they’ve worked with us and treated us with such kindness and help at every corner.”
The Perrys cherish their wonderful memories of visiting Heifer Ranch, and encourage other friends to consider assisting with the Foundation’s mission to end poverty and hunger.
Barb was looking for something meaningful to do after retirement. When she received one of Heifer’s famous gift catalogs in the mail, she knew this was an organization she wanted to get involved with in a meaningful and long-lasting way.
From the very first hours she devoted as a volunteer in 2002, Barb has seen Heifer’s amazing work all over the world. “I’ve seen our projects in action in quite a few countries. I decided to become a donor and set up an endowment through the Foundation.” Most impacted by Heifer’s practice of Passing on the Gift®, she established the Barbara Oakes Endowment to ensure that even more families will continue to improve their lives for decades to come. “What we give may not seem like a whole lot of money to us, but it’s so much more to even the first person who receives, and then that person is going to give and it goes on and on.”
Barb attended a Seagoing Cowboys celebration in Medford, Indiana, during Heifer’s 70th anniversary in 2014. She hopes her love for Heifer and her example might inspire another friend to step forward to help.
Mark and Hazel Nestleroth
MARK AND HAZEL NESTLEROTH
Mark and Hazel were both born in 1944, the same year Heifer was born!
Growing up on their family farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the couple inherited an ethic to work hard, persevere, and help out folks in need.
The couple decided to make a legacy gift to Heifer Foundation “because we’ve faced some difficult times over the years that helped us to understand the needs of all God’s children. We are blessed to have the resources to give back to an organization that assists others in helping themselves.”
Mark and Hazel have raised five daughters and have eight grandchildren.
Asked what they hoped others might say about them in the future, they replied: “They were compassionate and cared for others.”
They encourage others who are concerned about ending hunger and poverty to consider the merits of Heifer Foundation when making the importance choice of which charities to support today, and tomorrow.
Dan West Fellows Award Winners
Throughout his life and as Heifer International’s founder, Dan West, maintained a deep commitment to helping the poor, hungry and marginalized of the world. His vision guides this organization and speaks to the simplest and most basic principle of charity — helping people to help themselves.
In his honor, Heifer Foundation established the Dan West Fellow Award to honor those who have given of themselves to help the less fortunate of the world. See the Dan West Fellows we recognize for contributing to a better world through humanitarian efforts.
Steve Mondora: 2013 Winner
By Jessica Ford, global communications manager
Every year, the Heifer Foundation honors an individual who shows a personal and professional commitment to helping the poor and hungry throughout the world. The Dan West Fellow Award has been presented to a long list of fantastic people from every walk of life, who represent many roles and relationships to and with Heifer International.
Dan West, Heifer’s founder, maintained throughout his life a deep commitment to helping the poor, Passing on the Gift®, and securing a commitment to sustainability by helping people help themselves. When selecting winners for the Fellow Award, nominees must also epitomize this commitment. This year, the Heifer Foundation is pleased to announce that the Dan West Fellow Award goes to Stephen Mondora.
Stephen (Steve) Mondora served as an at-large Director for Heifer International from 1999-2011. Also a former Vice Chair and Chair of the Board, Steve served in each role for the maximum time permitted by Heifer by-laws. He is also a former Trustee of the Heifer International Foundation.
Steve’s service to Heifer began long before his formal leadership roles. He and his wife of 56 years, Carolyn, first learned of Heifer during a casual conversation with an acquaintance in 1978, which led the Mondoras to become donors. After Steve retired, he and Carolyn began looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities and decided on Heifer. In the fall of 1993 they became full-time Presbyterian Mission Volunteers at the Heifer Ranch, serving as co-directors of, at that time, Heifer’s National Distribution Center. They were responsible for procurement, warehousing and distribution of all program materials, literature and promotional products sold or donated to individuals, churches and other organizations.
Steve and Carolyn’s time at the Perryville, Ark. Ranch was some of the best of their lives. They saw Heifer blossom and bloom while living in Perryville, and certainly got to know the ins and outs of Heifer in fun — and sometimes challenging — ways.
Steve loves to reflect on the creative solutions they came up with to get stuff done when money was scarce. “We would collect boxes from grocery stores around town, turn them inside out so people couldn’t see the labels, and use them to ship boxes of materials from the distribution center. Eventually, we started ordering boxes with our name on them because the demand was so great. One time we needed packing paper and went to a local newspaper and asked about the extra paper from their printing rolls, which is normally either scrapped or recycled. We offered to buy it and told them about Heifer. Once they understood the mission, they gave us the paper for free.”
When the distribution center wasn’t busy, Steve would help out all over the Ranch. With his civil engineering background, he helped survey the site for Hersch Lodge, and he was one of the many volunteers who constructed the entire building. To accommodate Heifer’s very rapid growth and before the new headquarters was built, he frequently helped with remodeling projects at the old Louisiana Street building.
While at the Ranch, Steve also saw and contributed to the start of some innovative activity for Heifer. He helped establish Heifer’s first toll-free (800) number and the automatic routing system for regional offices. He and Carolyn managed the distribution center during a time of tremendous growth for Heifer. “When we first started, we would be doing well to ship three boxes a day. After about 18 months, sometimes we filled two UPS trucks in one day. That’s how much Heifer grew in such a short period of time.”
Steve also saw the organization through its digital beginnings. In 1994, he was walking through the halls of Heifer headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., when a staff member summoned him to look at their computer screen, where they’d just laid out the very first Heifer website. “That was the beginning of something so huge. And to see how the organization has materialized into what it is now is truly amazing.”
In his leadership roles with Heifer, Steve saw the organization evolve from a small, struggling charity to the highly successful, sophisticated development organization it is today. He played a major role in developing Heifer’s brand (the now familiar jumping cow logo you know today), as well as acquiring the land and negotiating for the current headquarters and buildings at 1 World Avenue. Steve also served on the committee that brought current President and CEO Pierre Ferrari to Heifer when long-time President and CEO Jo Luck announced her retirement.
“Steve is so well-deserving of this award,” says Luck. “His life truly embodies Passing on the Gift. He and Carolyn have given so unselfishly, and we are the better for his leadership, generosity, and unwavering dedication to a better world. I congratulate him wholeheartedly.”
“All the people I worked with at Heifer as a volunteer and board member, without exception, were so dedicated,” says Steve. “We all just knew that what we were doing was special. The teamwork and cooperation was amazing.”
Steve regularly references something he calls a Heifer Heart. “It means that you deeply understand the mission of ending hunger and poverty and that everything you do focuses on how to support that mission. If it won’t help feed hungry people, or have some strong connection to that, then you shouldn’t do it.”
As a Board member, Steve visited several Heifer projects, including the Navajo Nation site (formerly run by Heifer’s USA program), Ecuador, and Poland. He and Carolyn went to Poland on their own dime. “We were supposed to be part of a study tour that was cancelled; but we decided to go anyway by ourselves.” While there, they joined a Heifer program officer to visit sites on routine monitoring trips. This is where Steve got to see the real power of Heifer in communities. “When they found out that a Heifer representative was in town or nearby, they got so excited. They wanted to honor us, feed us, visit for hours, and thank us for all Heifer had done for them. We were greatly honored by their hospitality!”
Steve credits his wife Carolyn with finding Heifer and changing the track of their lives, but the Heifer fever wasn’t hard for him to catch. “I wouldn’t have ever been part of this had it not been for her,” he shares. “She followed me all over the country for my work. When I retired and we were deciding who to do, she wanted to go to Perryville with Heifer. This was my chance to follow her—and by following her passion this time, it forever changed my life.”
Today, you can find Steve and Carolyn still passionate about Heifer and issues of world hunger. They are residents of Fort Myers, Fla., and are quick to share the work of Heifer International with friends, church groups, or anyone else who will listen. This passion, combined with his willingness to volunteer and serve on Heifer’s board for so many years, makes Steve a well-known name and face in the Heifer halls and Ranch stalls. His work laid the foundation for so much about Heifer today. His long standing commitment to Heifer International sets the bar high, making him well worthy of the title: Dan West Fellow.
Jerry Bedford: 2012 Winner
Heifer International, in many ways, owes its current form to the guidance of Jerry Bedford, who insisted that the organization, whose mission he treasured, be placed on sure footing for decades to come. Bedford’s fundraising and communications efforts helped build Heifer into a well-regarded development organization whose impact has circled the globe.
Educated as both a businessman and theologian, Bedford understood that a nonprofit seeking to make a difference in the world would need both its values and its backing to be robust. Bedford worked diligently in service to both goals, first for 25 years as Heifer’s Director of Development and then as the head of the Heifer Foundation which he initiated in 1990.
In recognition of Bedford’s long dedication and many contributions to helping the world’s impoverished people, Heifer Foundation’s Trustees Emeriti have bestowed upon Jerry Bedford the 2012 Dan West Fellow Award.
“Heifer International and Heifer Foundation owe a great deal to Jerry,” said Ardyth Neill, president of Heifer Foundation. “He laid a strong foundation for the endowment, and everything that we’ve done since then was built on his careful work. His influence on Heifer’s growth has been exceptional.”
Bedford began working for Heifer International as Director of Development in 1966, a time when the organization had just a handful of employees. Bedford leveraged Heifer’s various regional offices to boost donations, which in those days still included hundreds of head of livestock.
Bedford and his wife, Anna Bedford, had experience with poverty in underdeveloped nations from their time as youth directors for the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. On their return to the U.S., Bedford learned about Heifer International, and saw it as an embodiment of the values he wished to promote – brotherhood, humanity and empowerment.
“As Director of Development, Jerry led successful fundraising and marketing initiatives,” recalled Rosalee Sinn, a former Heifer International fundraiser and 2011 Dan West Fellow. “Jerry had strong relationships with Heifer donors throughout the country. He was and is an articulate spokesperson and leader for Heifer International.”
Bedford traveled to many of the Heifer International country offices to help them form a fundraising base within their own countries. One of the accomplishments that gives Bedford the most pride is the development of the gift catalog, which would become the most reliable source of Heifer International donations. Bedford guided its progression from a simple black-and-white sheet, to a color flyer and then a full catalog.
“It made great sense,” Bedford said of the alternative giving concept. “You can make a gift in honor of someone who’s not in need to those who are in need.”
Bedford was anchored by the strong principles of Heifer International’s early leaders. “They were people of great integrity who valued the dignity of people, and lived their word,” Bedford said. “In the marketing materials, we always treated the subjects with dignity. We tried to build that sense of community and humanity.”
Bedford was instrumental in bringing Heifer International to Arkansas when the opportunity to buy a ranch in Perryville arose. He argued that Heifer, which then functioned out of a small St. Louis office, should have a permanent physical presence tied to its livestock aggregation. Bedford led the effort to raise funds for the purchase of the property, which would become the Learning Center at Heifer Ranch, for about $750,000.
But perhaps Bedford’s most notable contribution to Heifer International was the creation of Heifer Foundation. As Heifer and its work expanded, Bedford saw the need to further donors’ engagement with Heifer as they accumulated more assets and became receptive to including charities in their estate planning.
“Heifer had lots of donors. We just had to learn how to ask them to contribute a piece of their assets, not just their regular income,” Bedford explained.
Bedford became Heifer’s Director of Planned Giving and oversaw the creation of Heifer Foundation. From 1990 to 2000, when he retired, Bedford served as the head of Heifer Foundation. During that time, the Foundation’s assets grew from $4.3 million to $35.5 million.
“Just like individuals, Heifer needed to put something aside for a rainy day,” Bedford said. “If you have an endowment, it’s like ballast in a ship.”
Gary Cooper, a former Heifer Foundation trustee, sees the creation of Heifer International’s endowment as a priceless contribution to the nonprofit’s work to end hunger and poverty. “Jerry was an excellent financial advisor and was responsible for the early growth of the Foundation. He always had Heifer International’s mission as the central reason for growth.”
In his retirement, Bedford and his wife Anna split their time between California and Florida. He maintains involvement with the Arkansas Rice Depot, a statewide foodbank that he founded in the mid-1980s.
Over the course of nearly 40 years, Bedford has remained a passionate advocate for Heifer International’s work. He has educated millions of people about hunger and poverty, and about Heifer International’s model of creating self-reliance through gifts of livestock and training. His devotion to supporting this cause has yielded life-changing results for millions of families worldwide.
Rosalee Sinn: 2011 Winner
Rosalee Sinn has been at the center of life’s cycle of giving and receiving — love, knowledge, support, expertise and blessings — throughout almost four decades of professional association with Heifer International.
Fortunate to have strong female role models as a child growing up in Oklahoma, Rosalee says, she’s always carried with her a vision of a world in which women and men in impoverished communities are empowered with the means to earn a living to support themselves and their families. Working for Heifer International allowed her to see that vision become reality for many, plus gave her a role in making the world a more sustainable, loving, humane place.
“I’ve known Rosalee for more than 15 years and she really reflects Heifer’s values — particularly the cornerstones of sustainability and passing on the gift of self-reliance,” says Ardyth Neill, Heifer Foundation’s President.
In recognition of Rosalee’s long dedication and many contributions to helping the world’s impoverished people, Heifer Foundation’s Trustees Emeriti have bestowed upon Rosalee Sinn the 2011 Dan West Fellow Award.
“Rosalee is a wonderful fit for this award,” Neill says. “She’s devoted her life to improving others’ lives.”
“Rosalee has an indomitable spirit and a sense of the deep values that animate Heifer International,” says Pierre Ferrari, CEO of Heifer International. “She has become a dear friend — as well as a frequent and constructive critic. I take that with thanks as I know Rosalee has a deep affection for all things Heifer. There is no better possible recipient for this award.”
“I am honored to receive the Dan West Fellow Award,” says Sinn. “My years of work with Heifer and the opportunity to see Heifer’s partnerships in villages around the world, as well as to know Heifer’s exceptional donors and recipients is a special gift in my life. Frankly, I feel a bit overwhelmed to receive this special honor, yet not without a feeling of thanks for what it means.”
Rosalee began working for Heifer in 1965 in Massachusetts, where she still lives with her husband Paul, a retired United Church of Christ minister. Although she had plans to work as a church education leader, she couldn’t say no when asked to become the administrative assistant to Robert Mayhew, Heifer International’s regional director in the Northeast Region. Heifer’s mission dovetailed with her values and goals, and she welcomed the chance to play a role in its efforts to eradicate worldwide poverty and hunger.
Eight years after joining Heifer, she became regional director and relocated the office from Bridgewater to Plymouth, Mass. From this location, Rosalee directed the fundraising and education efforts for Heifer in the New England states and New York. At the time, Heifer was still shipping livestock raised in the United States to countries around the world. Rosalee and her staff were responsible for selecting the 200-400 animals shipped annually from the Northeast Livestock Holding Center, then located in Plympton, Mass. They handled health requirements, proper vaccinations, and air freight arrangements. In 1982-’84, she supervised the building of the Heifer Livestock and Learning Center at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Mass., and moved her office there in October 1984.
“The farm has been a wonderful resource for Heifer,” Rosalee says. “Thousands of people come every year to learn firsthand about the challenges of poverty and hunger facing millions of people around the world. People of all ages learn about animals, global issues and how they can make a difference. Overlook Farm has also served as a training center for Heifer leaders. Chen Taiyong, director of Heifer China, was a trainee at Overlook in 1987. Fu Changxiu, also a trainee, works as deputy director for the Bureau of Animal Husbandry in China and is a member of the Heifer board of directors.”
In 1993, Rosalee considered retiring but instead was recruited by then-Executive Director Jo Luck to work as interim director of development at Heifer International’s headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“It was extremely rewarding, but a long commute home to Massachusetts every other weekend,” Rosalee says, laughing.
As interim director of development, she helped create Heifer’s first direct-mail program, Read-to-Feed and was involved in the organization’s first professionally produced videos. Rosalee was chairperson of Heifer Hong Kong in its development stages, helping establish the current model that raises more than $4 million annually. She also worked directly with donors as a major gifts officer, then was interim director of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
In 2004, Rosalee actually did retire. She continues her relationship with Heifer as a volunteer, conducting educational programs about the guiding principles and programs plus speaking at universities and other institutions about goat husbandry and Heifer’s development model.
THEN THERE WERE GOATS…
Although she’s never owned any goats, she learned about raising and caring for animals through her work with Heifer. During her sabbatical in 1980, Rosalee worked on a goat farm in Pasa Robles, Calif., a dairy farm in New Lebanon, Conn., and in Cameroon, West Africa. While teaching goat husbandry courses in Cameroon, Rosalee decided to get her master’s in animal science at the University of Connecticut. The goat courses were the inspiration for the book Raising Goats for Meat and Milk, which she co-authored with veterinarian Paul Rudenberg. She is recognized as an authority on goats, serving as an adviser to the International Goat Association.
While her primary role at Heifer was philanthropy and development, she says, she taught and mentored individual farmers, many of them women. Rosalee also served as a mentor for Beatrice Biira of Uganda, whose achievements make up one of Heifer’s greatest success stories.
“Beatrice has been a very important part of my journey with Heifer,” Rosalee says.
Biira’s family prospered and she realized her dream of attending school after her family received a goat from Heifer International. Recently, 15 years after her family received a goat, Beatrice joined Heifer’s staff as the Community Engagement Officer in New York City.
“Rosalee is very loving, very warm,” says Biira, who met her mentor in 1996 when Rosalee visited her village during a Heifer International study tour. Rosalee has visited Heifer work in 28 countries and led dozens of study tours throughout the world, sometimes accompanied by her husband, children or grandchildren.
“Just in Rosalee’s presence, you can feel the love of a mother, a friend — someone who is very, very caring,” 27-year-old Biira says. “She took the personal initiative to help me here on my journey to the United States, to help me with the transition. She helped me through everything — school, career, making decisions.”
Biira says she considers Rosalee’s family to be hers, explaining that she has lived with Rosalee and Paul since arriving in the United States after graduating from high school in Uganda. “Without thinking, when I say I am going home, I mean Rosalee’s. That is home to me.”
A LIFE BASED ON LOVE
Biira is among countless women and men who have benefitted from the love and concern for which Rosalee is well known. A co-founder of WiLD, Women in Livestock Development, Rosalee has helped women around the world realize their full potential.
Closer to home, Rosalee has been an inspiration to her four children and six grandchildren, among them 21-year-old Bethany Sinn, who is studying social work at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Bethany says she plans to someday serve in the Peace Corps or perhaps follow in her grandmother’s footsteps at Heifer International.
“I definitely believe my desire to help others has come from my grandmother,” Bethany Sinn says. “When I was 15 years old, she took me on a study tour in Vietnam and Cambodia that exposed me to the hardships of others, the work that Heifer does and all the effort my grandmother puts into the organization. Her deep belief in helping others has shaped who I am and greatly affected my life. When I heard she won the Dan West award, I was really proud of her.”
While others speak admiringly of Rosalee’s contributions to Heifer, she prefers to talk about Heifer’s positive impact on the lives of people around the world — donors, volunteers, staff and beneficiaries of Heifer as well as her own.
“When I think of that cycle of giving and receiving and Heifer’s cornerstone of passing on the gift, well, you can take that in a lot of different ways. We may be giving people expertise, training, animals and all the resources that come from those things, but we’re also giving them our friendship,” Rosalee says. “In return, we are becoming better global citizens and better individuals.”
Richard & Susan Eyre: 2009 Winners
In his honor, Heifer Foundation established the Dan West Fellow Award to honor those who have given of themselves to help the less fortunate of the world. Each year, the foundation’s Trustee Emeritus Club chooses one outstanding leader to be recognized with this prestigious award. This year’s recipients, Richard and Susan Eyre, have devoted their lives to ensure that they “witness” for Heifer to anyone that they come in contact with.
Their Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, Illinois, which has one of the largest selections in the world of rare trees and dwarf conifers, could be known as the Heifer fundraising center of the greater Chicago area. Their selfless gifts to Heifer have included starting many country endowments as well as a family endowment to support the continued work of Heifer around the world. Each year, Richard’s mother, Margaret, sells thousands of Hostas for Heifer. Richard and Susan use their flower shows to spread the good news of Heifer’s work around the world.
Richard and Susan served six years on the Board of Trustees of Heifer International Foundation. In addition, Susan served as chair of the board, which allowed her to serve on the Heifer International Board of Directors.
In honor of their tireless service to Heifer and a world in need, a $1,000 will be added to the Dan West Education Endowment, which is used to educate the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty.
Miller Davis: 2008 Winner
After 20 years of being a guiding force in Heifer’s mission of ending hunger and poverty, Miller Davis, a former Chair of Heifer Foundation’s Board of Trustees, has been awarded the 2008 Dan West Fellow Award.
Davis leaves behind a legacy of unparalleled service to the boards of both Heifer Foundation and Heifer International, including chairing both boards during times of tremendous growth.
Throughout his life and as Heifer International’s founder, Dan West maintained a deep commitment to helping the poor, hungry and those in the margin of the world. His vision guides the Heifer organization and speaks to the simplest and most basic principle of charity – helping people to help themselves. In his honor, Heifer Foundation established the Dan West Fellow Award to honor those who have given of themselves to help the less fortunate of the world. Each year, The Foundation’s Trustees Emeriti choose one outstanding leader to be recognized as a Dan West Fellow.
Heifer Foundation President and CEO, Janet Ginn, praised Davis for his “servant leadership.” Miller is one of those individuals that exemplify the tireless commitment to the mission of ending hunger and poverty,” Ginn said. “Both Heifer Foundation and Heifer International have benefitted from his steady leadership and passion for the work.”
Davis, who knew Dan West personally, said he was “speechless” when he was informed he was this year’s recipient. “I’m overwhelmed and very humbled that the trustees emeriti have deemed that I have done enough to receive the award,” Davis said.
Davis first met Dan West in his teen years as a member of the Church of the Brethren, which was the religious organization that helped propel West’s initial vision that eventually became Heifer International. After graduating from Bridgewater College, Davis had the opportunity to work with Dan West while serving in Brethren Volunteer Service from 1965-1967.
I felt very privileged to have known Dan (and the West family),” Davis said. “To know and experience Dan and then serve on the boards of organizations he founded has been a wonderful experience.”
From 1988 to 2001, Davis was the representative for the Church of the Brethren on the Board of Directors of Heifer International. He was chair of the Heifer International Board for two of those years, one of which was during the 50th anniversary, which Davis describes as one of the highlights of his tenure. “I felt really blessed to have the international staff come to the Heifer headquarters to celebrate,” he said.
Another major highlight for Davis was his first visit to a project in Honduras that left him even more convinced of the validity and strength of Heifer’s mission. One project that had been involved with Heifer for 10 years showed a graph of the number of children that were malnourished when the project began. They then showed how through their involvement with Heifer there were no children in the community that were malnourished.
After his tenure on Heifer International’s Board ended, Davis was then elected to Heifer Foundation’s Board in 2001, where he will serve until his second term ends in September 2009. During 2003, Davis took a leave of absence from the Foundation Board to serve as Vice-President of External Relations for Heifer International. In his role as chair of the Heifer Foundation Board, Davis has represented the Foundation on Heifer International’s Board of Directors.
Davis grew up in Rockingham County, Virginia on a small farm and worked with his uncle and grandfather on their farm until graduating from high school. He was raised in the Church of the Brethren and first heard the Heifer stories as a child in Sunday school.
After Brethren Volunteer Service he worked for a construction company for four years before becoming an employee of the Church of the Brethren General Board at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland. He retired in 1998 as Manager of the Emergency Response/Service Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, which combines Disaster Response, Refugee Resettlement and the Material Resource Programs into one unit. Davis and his wife Connie have four children.
Dr. Barrie O’Bannon: 2007 Winner
Dr. Barrie O’Bannon, the man who helped secure the first Heifer International headquarters in Little Rock as well as the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, is the winner of the 2007 Dan West Award.
Throughout his life and as Heifer International’s founder, Dan West maintained a deep commitment to helping the poor, hungry and those in the margin of the world. His vision guides this organization and speaks to the simplest and most basic principle of charity – helping people to help themselves.
In his honor, Heifer Foundation established the Dan West Fellow Award to honor those who have given of themselves to help the less fortunate of the world. Each year, The Foundation’s Trustee Emeriti choose one outstanding leader to be recognized as a Dan West Fellow.
Heifer Foundation President and CEO, Janet K. Ginn, praised O’Bannon’s efforts over the years.
”Barrie is a respected member of the Heifer family and a great ambassador for Heifer Foundation,” Ginn said. “His service and commitment to the organization has proven very valuable over the years as we partner to end hunger and poverty.”
O’Bannon, who lives in Russellville, first became involved with Heifer International in the early 1970’s when he read an article that the organization had moved its headquarters from St. Louis to Little Rock.
“[The recipients] had to give their first offspring to someone else. That idea really stuck with me, creating an interest in the work,” he said. “It’s outstanding the way people receiving can feel they are also giving to someone else.”
This idea eventually led O’Bannon to provide the lead gift when Heifer International purchased its first headquarters in the old Salvation Army building on Broadway in Little Rock. O’Bannon was also very instrumental in securing the property now known as Heifer Ranch and donated his registered Brangus herd to Heifer International during that time. This donation contributed to many successful projects around the world as quality stock was shipped from the holding facility he helped secure in Perryville.
“I’ve been very happy with what I give – as little as it is,” O’Bannon said. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction in life.”
His example of dedicated service and commitment to making a difference has truly changed a world in great need.
O’Bannon has served many projects and countries with his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and through the establishment of an Animal Hospital in 1959. During the course of his professional career he developed and sold three veterinary hospitals, including the Jacksonville Animal Hospital and the Park Hill Pet Clinic. He was elected to the Arkansas Veterinarian Medical Association Honor Roll for his 38 years of service.
Heifer Foundation was honored to have O’Bannon serve on its Board of Trustees, where he was elected Vice-Chair and served on the Board of Heifer International. “I was really thrilled,” he said. “I really felt grateful and was at a loss for words at the time.”
In addition to this honor, a gift of $1,000 will be given to the Dan West Educational Endowment in honor of the recipient.
Gary Cooper: 2006 Winner
Heifer Foundation is pleased to announce its 2006 Dan West Fellow Award winner, Gary Cooper of Sarasota, Florida. In Cooper’s honor, $1,000 will be added to the Foundation’s Dan West Education Endowment, a portion of which is made available each year to Heifer International for use in educating the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty.
”What an honor to hear my name has been chosen as the 2006 Dan West Fellow Award winner,” says Cooper. “It has been a great pleasure to give part of my life to helping the poor and less fortunate.”
He adds, “I’m just pleased to be associated with the organization. Certainly, when you see the difference they (Heifer International) are making in third-world countries, it’s easy to want to be more involved.”
Cooper served for nine years as a member of the Heifer Foundation Board of Trustees, including a term as Chair of the Board.
Heifer Foundation President and CEO Janet K. Ginn says, “We are so pleased and humbled to have Gary as a vital part of this organization.”
An Indiana farm boy, Cooper knew of Heifer long ago; his family had even donated a heifer to the organization in the 1950s. But it was in the early ‘90s, when he participated in his first of many Heifer study tours, that the relationship began in earnest.
Cooper has visited Heifer projects in several countries, including Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. In 1992, he made his most exciting Heifer-related trip, when he flew with 100 heifers to Jordan.
In addition to his support of Heifer, Cooper is active with other international agricultural development organizations, especially in Haiti.
Dr. Marion Hammarlund: 2005 Winner
Heifer Foundation is pleased to announce its 2005 Dan West Fellow Award winner, Dr. Marion Hammarlund of Riverside, Calif. In Dr. Hammerlund’s honor, $1,000 will be added to the Foundation’s Dan West Education Endowment, a portion of which is made available each year to Heifer International for use in educating the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty.
“I’m very much a cheerleader for Heifer,” says Dr. Hammarlund, a veterinarian, who first became involved with Heifer in the late ‘70s, when asked to help with a shipment of goats to the Philippines. After that trip, Dr. Hammarlund started attending regional meetings and helped out wherever needed, including visiting Heifer International projects in Bolivia and Mexico. He served from 1988 to 1995 as the Southwest District representative on the Heifer International Board of Directors and served as one of the original Trustees of Heifer Foundation. He still works as a volunteer in numerous areas—on a recent weekend, he set up and manned a booth at a Sunday School convention!
Dr. Hammarlund’s love for Heifer reaches beyond the organization. He is the founder of the Dan West Fund at Manchester College; was very instrumental in Beatrice’s scholarship offer from Western University; and has been a valuable part of our history and the success of both organizations.
A native of Kansas, Dr. Hammarlund graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science and a Doctorate of Veterinary. He worked as an Assistant Veterinary Pathologist in charge of a diagnostic laboratory at Colorado State University, while completing graduate study in animal pathology with special emphasis on a vaccine to prevent abortion in sheep. For ten years, from 1957-1966, Dr. Hammarlund worked for Ralston Purina Company, St. Louis, Missouri, as a veterinary pathologist in clinical research and in 1966 moved to Riverside, California, as a disease management consultant to Arlington Veterinary Laboratories. He co-authored the book, Raising Healthy Poultry Under Primitive Conditions.
From 1973-1984, Dr. Hammarlund was owner and operator of the Arlington Animal Hospital, and worked primarily with pets, goats and poultry.
We are indebted to Dr. Hammarlund for his contributions to Heifer International and Heifer Foundation and are pleased to honor him in this significant manner.
Marvel Lund: 2004 Winner
Whenever Marvel Lund sends a card or letter, she always signs her name with a heart. This isn’t so unusual for someone who puts her heart in everything she does. Marvel not only has heart, she also has energy and enthusiasm for helping others that marks her as one of Heifer’s greatest allies.
Marvel served on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for six years and is a member of the Sacramento Heifer Committee. Marvel’s husband, Hal, owner of his own automotive business and Indianapolis 500 mechanic, was one of the Heifer cowboys who delivered livestock by boat to various countries. He also participated in the last shipment of heifers to Korea.
The Lunds have always been a great resource for new ideas to raise awareness and support for Heifer. Having been a long-time member of the Ben Ali Shriner’s Temple, Hal was a contributor to the Shriner’s One Hundred Million Dollar Club, which funds the many Shriner children’s hospitals. The idea behind such a club is that anyone can join at any giving level to build the funds to $100,000,000. Hal and Marvel decided that Heifer Foundation would benefit from a similar program to increase its endowment, which undergirds the work of Heifer International. As Marvel likes to say, “A little added to a little makes a lot.”
Heifer Foundation’s Board of Trustees recently set a goal to increase the total Foundation assets to $100 million by 2010. As a tribute to Hal Lund, who passed away in 1995, Heifer Foundation has introduced its own One Hundred Million Dollar Club. The club was officially launched last November with a generous gift from Marvel Lund. She and Heifer Foundation hope that, not only will the club be a means to reach the 2010 goal of $100 million, but it will also enable everyone to help in the fight to end hunger and poverty worldwide. Marvel is very active in recruiting new members for, and honoring friends and acquaintances with membership into the club. With supporters like Marvel, the Foundation will reach, and hopefully exceed, its 2010 goal. In just more than a year, this club has grown over 1,000+ members and totals almost $700,000. Thank you Marvel for all you have done and your continued love and support!
In honor of Marvel, $1,000 will be added to the Dan West Education Endowment, which is used to educate the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty. It was my honor to present Marvel with a special plaque at the January 20 meeting of the Trustee Emeriti Meeting in Sacramento. Her name will be placed on the Dan West Fellow Roster displayed at Heifer Foundation headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. To be named a Dan West Fellow is to be recognized for contributing to a better world through humanitarian efforts.
Willard & Ursula Bartel: 2003 Winner
Each year, The Foundation’s Trustee Emeriti choose one outstanding leader to be recognized as a Dan West Fellow. It is my honor to announce that the 2003 Dan West Fellow Award winners are Willard and Ursula Bartel. Ursula humbly accepted the award in honor of her late husband Willard.
Willard and Ursula have been true models of what a supporter for Heifer should be. Willard and Ursula had a dairy in El Monte, California before they relocated their operation to Ontario, California. They raised lots of heifers, and became involved in Heifer International through their Methodist Church in the 1970’s. Willard even offered his facilities for a staging area to gather heifers for shipments to Mexico and Korea. Enthusiastic about the project, Willard enlisted the help of other dairies in the area in raising heifers for shipments. He and Ursula made several trips abroad to visit projects.
Willard served as one of the original trustees of Heifer Foundation and for many years was also the southwest regional representative on the Heifer Board of Directors and regional chairperson of various Heifer capital campaigns. Ursula then continued Willard’s work at Heifer Foundation serving as a Trustee and now serves as a Trustee Emeritus. Willard and Ursula gave the funds for the Lucy West Ruple Lodge at the Heifer Ranch and underwrote the cost of the Bartel Lodge. Willard’s and Ursula’s lives have exemplified the story of Dan West in so many ways. Their unselfish love for those in poverty and suffering has been demonstrated by giving so many “a gift of life” to achieve self-sufficiency. Their commitment is an inspiration to all who have known them.
In honor of Willard and Ursula, $1,000 will be added to the Dan West Education Endowment, which is used to educate the public about the root causes of hunger and poverty. To be named a Dan West Fellow is to be recognized for contributing to a better world through humanitarian efforts.
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Please let us know if you’ve already named Heifer Foundation or Heifer International in your plan. We would like to personally say thank you for your generosity and commitment.
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