Last December, the Executive Director of the Fannin County Children’s Center got a call from a local attorney’s office, requesting a meeting about someone’s will. What she soon learned was that Bonham resident Doyle Ray Hammett, known as “DR” to his friends and family, had passed away in November and left the bulk of his estate to the Children’s Center.
By early February, the center received the deed to the house and the title to his car. After the center had selected a real estate agent but before they could even settle on an asking price, their real estate agent brought them an offer on the house from the first person who looked at it. After careful consideration, the board of directors agreed to accept the offer.
Executive Director Sandy Barber said “I am thrilled to report that the money we receive from the sale of DR’s estate will be the seed money to start an endowment for the center. It has been our dream for many years to begin an endowment to help secure the long-term financial stability of the center. It officially became a goal in our strategic plan two years ago. And now, thanks to the generosity of DR, this dream is becoming a reality.”
Interestingly, Hammett had never donated to the Children’s Center before his death. His sister Betty Ragon of Dodd City, however, has been a regular donor for years. When Hammett was considering what should become of his estate, a conversation with his sister sparked this idea to leave most all of it to the center.
“The gift that DR has given to the center will not be spent, but it will be invested,” said Barber. “The money earned from those investments will provide a steady source of funding for the center for years to come, making DR’s gift one that will keep on giving.”
“It is our hope that others will follow DR’s example in remembering the center in their will,” continued Barber. “Of course, you do not have to wait until you are gone to contribute to our endowment. Gifts of any size will help grow this nest egg and increase the financial security of this center for years to come, so that children will always have a place to get the advocacy, counseling and other support they need to find safety and begin healing from abuse and neglect.”