" St. Jude left a mark on my heart."

Ken and Kay Smith live on a 280-acre farm in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with their English Pointer, Buckshot. The couple is very active in their community and enjoy gardening. Ken enjoys shooting sports, and Kay is the music director at their church and dabbles in oil painting.

St. Jude supporters Kay and Ken Smith

Kay and Ken Smith

How did you first become involved in St. Jude and why?

We have been monthly contributors to St. Jude for a number of years. We first began contributing through the mail. We felt blessed to have two healthy grandchildren and we knew that not everyone is so fortunate.

What made you consider creating a charitable gift annuity?

We owned a title insurance company for over 40 years and recently sold the business and retired. A gift annuity fit into our plans. The tax benefits were a great help in dealing with the sale proceeds from our business, and the annuity payments will pay our property taxes every year.

What motivated you to establish a gift annuity with St. Jude, specifically?

My sister wanted to do a charitable gift annuity a couple of years ago. She came to St. Jude and I came with her. The trip to St. Jude left a mark on my heart. My sister created a St. Jude gift annuity and when the time was right, we wanted to do one, too. Many big charitable institutions have gift annuity programs. The nearby university has an annuity plan, but we chose St. Jude over any comparable plan, because of what St. Jude does. We would like to help find a cure for cancer.

How many annuities do you have?

We have two joint-life annuities with St. Jude.

What steps did you take to create your St. Jude charitable gift annuities?

The first thing we did was talk to a representative at St. Jude. They sent us a personalized illustration for a gift annuity based on the information we shared, and we took it to our accountant. After reviewing things with our advisors, we made our decision based on their advice.

What has your experience been with your local St. Jude representative?

We met our St. Jude representative, Julie, when we were ready to do our first annuity. She came to our home and visited with us and we had a great time. We showed her around our town and completed the annuity right then.

What would you tell someone else considering a St. Jude charitable gift annuity?

We’d say, look into it. It is well worth it, and St. Jude is well-deserving of your consideration. We particularly like that the gift is helping support cancer research and caring for children. We like to think that in our lifetime there will be a cure.