Teacher leaves behind estate to community - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Teacher leaves behind estate to community

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Thousands of dollars can make a big difference for anyone's budget and now ten nonprofit organizations in Eau Claire are receiving $75,000 each from a woman's generous estate donation.

"Our organization could not exist without donors," says Emily Moore of Feed My People.

"The museum is very dependent on the generosity of the community for all the things it does," says Susan McLeod of the Chippewa Valley Museum.

And the generosity of former Longfellow kindergarten teacher Betty Rogstad is helping these organizations greatly.

"The amount of money she had squirreled away, that did surprise me.  Because she was not somebody to brag about money," says a friend of Betty, Marlaine White.

Around $900,000 and most of it went straight to the community.

"It's incredible, it's just wonderful.  I think with this gift in particular, the fact that it's supporting so many different nonprofits and the nonprofits in the community work so well together," says Moore.

Betty chose these organizations because they have one thing in common, the children.

"They don't always have food on the weekend.  So the Feed My People weekend sack of food for the kids is something that she knew was important," says White.

"Because Betty was so interested and involved with children, I think we'll really be looking at that specifically," says Moore.

Even after her passing Betty helps educate and enable future generations.

"When they'd go to the museum, many of the children had never been there before," says White.

"It could be specifically for an educational purpose because we do a great deal of educational programming," says McLeod.

It's not only the nonprofits learning a lesson from this teacher's legacy, you can too.

"Be thankful that there are people in the community that care about the community enough to do something like this," says McLeod.

Betty's only surviving relative is a cousin living in Alaska and he supported her estate being donated to the Eau Claire community.    

She was known as a quiet person who enjoyed chocolate, adventures with friends and teaching.

The organizations her estate bestowed $75,000 each to include:

-         Bolton Refuge House

-         Chippewa Valley Free Clinic

-         Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity

-         Chippewa Valley Museum

-         Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network (Beacon House)

-         Feed My People

-         L.E. Phillips Senior Center

-         Literacy Volunteers of the Chippewa Valley

-         Sacred Heart Hospital

-         The Salvation Army

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