September 9, 2021

Cliff’s Gifts Benefit SAIL and Community

By David Koehler

David Koehler

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Ann Albert, the Executive Director of AgeBetter, an organization that works to enhance health, wellness and independence for older adults.

Ann is a superstar in the eldercare and nonprofit communities. Before leading AgeBetter, Ann ran Sharing Active Independent Lives, which is better known by its acronym SAIL, and one of AgeBetter’s flagship programs.

Last year, SAIL received an estate gift for its endowment fund held at MCF, and Ann and I spoke about the special donor behind it all, Cliff Voegeli.

After moving to Oakwood Village in 2013, Cliff learned about SAIL through his friend Charlene Malueg. He had recently retired from a longtime volunteer position with another organization, and readily accepted Charlene ‘s invitation to join her at SAIL.

Cliff volunteered his time and talent to help manage SAIL’s database. Ann remembered the chemistry and warmth he brought to the office. “Everyone loved Cliff. He was so committed to helping others. He could see the numbers behind how SAIL was making a positive impact for those it serves, and he became passionate about that organization and aging in place.”

When Cliff approached Ann in 2014 about leaving a planned gift to benefit SAIL, it was a new concept for the organization. Cliff wanted to help ensure that SAIL had resources to sustain itself. He understood the value of permanent endowments and knew that was how he wanted to leave a legacy for the organization and community he loved.

At the time, Ann had worked with MCF for many years, including receiving a grant that led to the formation of SAIL in 2005. She knew MCF might be able to help Cliff achieve his goals and invited us to meet. Shortly thereafter, we helped Cliff establish a charitable gift annuity (CGA) which allowed him to receive an immediate tax benefit and a fixed income for life. Cliff listed SAIL as the beneficiary of his CGA.

In 2015, Cliff’s vision and generosity inspired SAIL to establish the SAIL Fund, a permanent endowment to provide annual support for its mission. Later that year, Cliff invited Ann to be his guest at MCF’s annual Legacy Society Luncheon. He took care to share that “everyone loves Ann” when he called in his reply for the event (thanks to retired MCF Stewardship Director Darcy Kobinsky for recording that detail). Clearly the feelings were mutual!

Over the years, Ann has recruited MCF to speak with SAIL members as well as residents living at AgeBetter’s founding communities, Attic Angel and Oakwood Village. We’ve met individually with residents who wanted to discuss options for supporting the causes they love and presented for groups on topics such as “tools for charitable giving” and “leaving a legacy.” Others have followed Cliff’s lead by joining AgeBetter’s own Legacy Society and by making outright and planned gifts to grow the organization and the SAIL endowment.

Cliff passed away in 2020 at the age of 96. His thoughtful gift has helped grow the SAIL Fund. His legacy is alive in AgeBetter’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for older people in our community, and in a charitable institution that is stronger today because of his personal giving and the culture of philanthropy he nurtured.

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