Planned Giving: Will and Vicki Kirkpatrick, A Legacy of Love

Planned Giving: Will and Vicki Kirkpatrick, A Legacy of Love

Will Kirkpatrick grew up in Urbana and had friends who lived at Cunningham Children’s Home. In high school, he and his friends would fish at nearby Crystal Lake Park.

In 1955, Will was hired by Bell Telephone Systems and had a successful 31-year-career traveling in the United States and overseas as an installer, technician and network manager. During that time, he also continued to fish. In fact, he fished and hunted in 21 states and three foreign countries. It was his talent in bass fishing tournaments that caught the attention of several lure companies including Rebel, Creme, Bomber, Heddon, Yum, BooYah, etc. About the same time, in the early 1970’s, Will dropped by Cunningham to see if he could offer a fishing clinic to our kids. He wanted to share his love of fishing with them. Over the next 40+ years, Will came back every few years to host fishing clinics at Cunningham.

Since 2012, he and his wife, Vicki, have made it an annual event, traveling back to Illinois from Texas to host the fishing clinic at Crystal Lake Park. Every time they visit, they bring prizes and giveaways for our kids including hats, sweatshirts and more, provided by PRADCO Outdoor Brands Fishing. Will’s great relationship with the lure companies makes this possible. And, as Will says, “it’s all about the kids.”

The Kirkpatricks still enjoy their time with our youth very much; teaching them skills they will use for fun and recreation all of their lives. Will and Vicki also know, one day, they will no longer be able to make such a personal impact on Cunningham kids. They began to think about the legacy they wanted to leave and made the decision to have a lasting impact by providing financially for Cunningham through their estate. Working with their attorney and an estate planner, Will and Vicki made provisions in their will to first, provide for each other, and then, help kids at Cunningham long into the future.

“Many years ago, Lanny West of Rebel Lures and Nick Creme of Creme Lures, told me I needed to leave fishing better than I found it,” Will said. “By passing on our appreciation and love of the great outdoors and fishing to today’s youth, we are trying to accomplish that. It is also our hope that the estate planning funds will help in enabling Cunningham to continue their great work with tomorrow’s youth.”

With a planned gift, you can:

  • Make a larger charitable gift than you thought possible
  • Take care of the financial needs of your family first
  • Provide inheritances for your heirs at a lower tax cost
  • Reduce your income tax and even avoid capital gains taxes
  • Increase income and effective rate of return
  • Leave a legacy without giving up assets

With a planned gift to Cunningham, you can:

  • Support our residential education, recreation, and therapeutic programs
  • Support our Rosann Gelvin Noel Education Center and help provide the best educational experience for our kids
  • Help bridge the gap between reimbursements from referring agencies and the actual costs of caring for our kids
  • Provide funding assistance for our community-based programs

It’s easy to designate Cunningham Children’s Home as a recipient of your planned gift. Call Tim Manard, Development Officer, at 217.337.9071 or email him at