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Delos and Shirley Lake Barber

Finding a way to make a larger gift

From M, winter 2004

Delos and Shirley Lake Barber aren't wealthy, but they do feel blessed. Delos ('72 B.S.) and Shirley ('61 B.S., '75 M.Ed., and '89 Ph.D.) met as teenagers at the Minnesota State Fair when they were both in 4-H, which is part of the University of Minnesota's Extension Service. Delos remembers well the Labor Day evening when they sat on a bale of hay and talked, and Shirley invited him to come around for coffee sometime. "I didn't make it up for that coffee until February, but after that it went pretty well," laughs Delos. More than 50 years later, the Barbers retired--Delos from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Shirley from the Extension Service, where she had been an educator for 35 years. "We found that some of our [retirement] funds had done amazingly well," says Shirley. "We knew that if we were ever going to make a major gift, we had to do it then." So, after decades of supporting 4-H with modest annual gifts, in 2000, the Barbers made an extraordinary gift of $25,000 to endow a 4-H youth development fund. "We decided to take some funds right off the top," explains Shirley. "Frankly, we haven't missed it."

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