“SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.” -AESOP
The parable of the tortoise and the hare has always been a favorite of mine! Even as a youngster I could relate to the tortoise working consistently and methodically towards a goal. The hare was flashy, fast, and made for a delightful story, but in the end, he didn’t stick with it and the tortoise’s persistence paid off. As dull as the tortoise seems, he really had the right approach. The story always reminds me of the power of endowment. Money invested today can grow, generate spendable income, and preserve value for generations to come. In foundation terms, endowment represents the ultimate investment in the future of our region! Like the tortoise, endowment continues to move forward and fund projects in our region every year – forever.
In 2017, the Amarillo Area Foundation celebrated 60 years of service to the residents of the Texas Panhandle. As I reflect on that, it is incredible to remember all the outstanding projects that have benefitted from the Foundation’s support during that time. In the history of both the Amarillo Area Foundation and The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, these organizations have supplied more than $176 Million in grants and distributions. Let that number sink in! Think of all the tremendous benefits realized by our region’s residents because of these funds. In addition to these distributions, the foundations have combined assets of $250 Million. Over time, the combined foundations have generated $426 Million in assets. By maintaining our focus on creating endowments, the foundations will continue to grow as we move forward. For residents of the Panhandle, this represents a significant investment in local communities. In 60 years, the Foundations have provided significant support to important projects and initiatives such as: The Don Harrington Discovery Center, The Harrington Cancer Center, The West Texas A&M University Amarillo Center, The ACE Scholarship Program, The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, Countless community centers, outreach programs, and other support to rural communities.
We take pride in the projects we have supported that have had such a significant impact on our region. However, like the tortoise, we do not rest. As we look forward, it is easy to be excited about the possibilities for the Panhandle. We are fortunate to live in a region where our residents are among the most generous in the US. There is a passion in our region for helping our neighbors. We are excited every day about the opportunity to work with our partners to improve quality of life for our neighbors. It is always tempting to focus on short-term projects and highlight our recent successes. But, we must continually look forward. We succeed by focusing on the long-term goal of making life better for all residents in our region!