Grace Riley Leinart and Earl Leinart enjoy supporting a number of charitable organizations, and have been especially generous to Nebraska Methodist College—The Josie Harper Campus. When it came time to build a new college campus, Grace and Earl were there to lead the charge with the first pledge of the campaign.
Recently, the Leinarts learned about a new and simple way they could make a payment on their pledge to the College. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows individuals aged 70 1/2 or older to make gifts to qualified charitable organizations using funds transferred directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) to a public charity. Furthermore, these individuals will not have to pay taxes on the amounts transferred, up to $100,000 per person, on or before Dec. 31, 2007.
Earl commented, “By gifting a portion of our IRAs to Methodist Hospital Foundation, our gifts were free of all income taxes and counted toward our required minimum distribution. We sure hope Congress will renew this legislation, because it’s a great way for your dollars to go to what interests you, rather than for taxes.”
For the Leinarts, education is a topic that has always interested them. Both were among the first in their families to obtain a college degree. And both have seen firsthand how scholarships can literally change a young life.
In fact, Grace chose nursing when it came time for her to attend college, because “it was the only free schooling I could find!” Grace planned a career as an Army nurse, but when the war ended her plans changed. She married Harry D. Riley and became an interior designer.
Many years later, Grace’s beloved Harry passed and she later met and married Earl Leinart. They shared several interests, including a love for education. Grace had established some student scholarships as a memorial for her mother and enjoys keeping in touch with all the scholarship recipients. Earl shares her joy, and they host an open house at Christmas time, in addition to attending the numerous graduations, weddings, and other important events of “their” students.
So when the opportunity arrived for a new Nebraska Methodist College campus, the Leinarts did not hesitate to make their pledge.
“A gift of education is a gift that states, ‘someone believes in me’ ” says Grace. “Thanks to the Pension Protection Act, it was very easy to make an IRA charitable gift. The part we like best? We have to take the minimum distribution anyway, and this allows us to turn that distribution into a meaningful gift without having to pay more taxes.”
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