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Lamplighter Society

Light the Way for Future Generations

Many years ago, as parents in search of sports activities for their four children, Jayne and Al Swantner discovered the wholesome and healthy environment of the YMCA. Jayne was so impressed with the Y's positive influence on youth and families that she worked relentlessly to bring YMCA programs, and eventually the full-facility South County Family YMCA, to her own neighborhood. Fifty years later, Jayne still volunteers countless hours of her time for activities that benefit the YMCA. It is her personal goal to make the world a better place for future generations. For Jayne and her husband, Al, becoming Lamplighter Society members will ensure that their lifetime of work benefiting the YMCA will be sustained.

Story of the Lamplighter Sir Harry Lauder often related a story of those who were responsible for lighting the street lights of his city just at dusk. Sir Lauder would watch each lighter progress from lamp to lamp, causing each new light to soften the approaching darkness. “Finally,” said Sir Lauder, “even though the lamplighter had disappeared around some far corner, you knew he had been there by the lights he left behind.”

Become a Member of the YMCA Lamplighter Society
With the Y, you're not just a member of an association, you're part of a cause with a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and wellbeing, and supporting our neighbors. The Lamplighter Society was established in St. Louis in 1972 in recognition of individuals who remember the Y in their estate plans, make an outright gift to the YMCA Endowment Fund, or establish various kinds of planned gifts to light the way for those who follow.

Members may designate their gifts to support a specific branch or program if they wish. Gifts currently made or future designated to the YMCA Endowment Fund are recognized at the following levels:

George Williams Circle: $50,000

Lamplighter Society:
Honorary Trustee $25,000
Honorary Director $10,000
Member of Society $5,000 (Cash minimum)

Ways to Give and Become a Lamplighter
Will bequests and living trusts
Gifts to the Y through wills or living trusts may include specific property, a dollar amount or percentage.

Sample Bequest Language
I give to The YMCA of Greater St. Louis, MO. Corporation, St. Louis, MO., the sum of $ or percent of the remainder of my estate to be used for the benefit (branch specific/in support of a specific purpose).

Gift of Securities
Gifts of appreciated securities allow a charitable income tax deduction and capital gains tax savings.

Life Insurance
Making a gift of a life insurance policy may allow a sizeable gift to the Y with minimal cost.

Gift Annuity
A charitable gift annuity allows for a significant gift to the Y while providing fixed life income to the donor and/or loved ones.

Cash Gift
A cash gift is welcome for individuals wanting to become a member of the YMCA Lamplighter Society.

Call or visit the branch executive at your local YMCA today and become a Lamplighter, or visit

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Gateway Region YMCA a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Gateway Region YMCA, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 326 South 21st Street, 4th Floor, Saint Louis, MO 63103, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Gateway Region Y or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Gateway Region Y as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Gateway Region Y as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Gateway Region Y where you agree to make a gift to Gateway Region Y and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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