Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund

 

Young Love Leads to a Legacy of Giving

Kenneth and Sharon Glassman first met in high school at United Township in East Moline, Illinois and Sharon knew after their second date that Ken was the one she would marry.  This prediction came true when they wed in 1951.  Both worked in the trades, Ken a welder at Johnson Sheet Metal and Sharon at the International Harvester Plant, East Moline, IL.  They worked hard, saved and built their home in Silvis, IL where they lived for 40 years until Ken’s death in November 2001 at the age of 73.


Being alumni, Ken and Sharon were diehard United Township High School Panther fans.  Kenny’s friend Don Proul remembers fondly the games they attended together and Kenny’s exuberance toward the players and officials.  He mentioned how the referees always knew Kenny was there and sometimes had to caution him during exceptionally tense periods during the games.

Kenneth Glassman was born in 1924 and served in the Army during the Korean Conflict.  He especially enjoyed hunting and refinishing furniture and antiques. Sharon, who was born in 1929 lost her mother at the young age of five and was raised by a loving father and step-mother.  Sharon’s caregiver of many years until her death in May 2013 shared stories of a caring friend who loved cats and traveling.

Before Ken and Sharon passed away, they wanted to make sure their legacy would benefit the community they called home, forever.  Working with their attorney, they drew up their estate plan that included a bequest to the Community Foundation after the lifetime of the survivor of them. 

When Sharon passed away in 2013, the couple’s bequest came to the Community Foundation to establish the Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund, an ongoing source of support for causes they believed in. 

The Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund is an endowed donor advised fund, created for charitable giving through the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. The Glassmans named trusted advisors who will recommend grants from the fund, keeping in mind Sharon and Kenneth’s values and the causes they cared about. The advisors work closely with the Community Foundation staff, who provide guidance with grant administration.

The first grant from the Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund was made in March 2014, and it truly fit with what the Glassmans were looking to accomplish. Utilizing the resources available through CFGRB, United Township’s superintendent, Dr. Jay Morrow, shared the high school’s need of a new CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine. The CNC machine allows students to convert into numbers a design created by computer-aided design software. The numbers then are used to help control the shape or cut of a material.  With the help of Matt Mendenhall, CFGRB’s VP of Programs, funds were leveraged from several funding sources, including the Glassman’s endowed donor advised fund, in order to purchase the machine. 

Since Ken and Sharon both worked in the trades, the grant to UTHS for the CNC machine was exactly how the couple envisioned their legacy making an impact in the community.  The CNC machine will enable UTHS students, now and well into the future, get state-of-the-art training that will prepare them for careers in the trades, just like Ken and Sharon. 

 “Kenny and Sharon would be proud of the grant made to United Township,” said their friend, Don.  Future grants will come from the Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund to carry out their legacy of giving back to the causes and the community that meant so much to them.

"Mary and I have been interested in the issue of hunger in the Quad Cities for many, many years. It is great to be able to have an impact."

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