In 2013 the Chehalis Foundation received $1.8 million as an endowment from the estates of Ray and Mary Ingwersen. The gift is to be used to enhance STEM education programs at W.F. West.
The Foundation created a subcommittee to manage the endowment as a permanent trust. The subcommittee is chaired by Kevin Smith and includes Jim Lintott, school administrators and three Foundation board members. Interest and earnings are used each year to fund STEM needs.
The late Ray and Mary Ingwersen shared the vision of Chehalis Foundation’s mission. They had confidence in the Chehalis Foundation’s leadership.
Ray Ingwersen died in 2008 and his wife, Mary, died in 2012. Now, the couple joins other far sighted local benefactors like the high school’s namesake, William F. West, and John Coffman, who left part of their estates for scholarship funding and furthering education.
In their estate planning the Ingwersen’s left to the Chehalis Foundation a second endowment in the amount of $1.8 million for the purpose of enhancing ball fields in the city of Chehalis.
The Ingwersen’s moved to Chehalis from California in the 1990s. The two actively supported the community by contributing to projects such as the Chehalis Kiddie Spray Park, the indoor baseball practice facility, the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library and by covering the early expenses for W.F. West High School’s molecular genetics program.
The Ingwersen Trusts have enabled the Chehalis Foundation to accelerate the speed in which projects are accomplished allowing for faster positive impact for Chehalis. As an example; the amazing results of W. F. West’s STEM programs has made W.F. West’s programs one of the top in the state. We are also the first high school in the county with a Scanning Electron Microscope. Other STEM programs include, FIRST robotics where Chehalis students are now competing in contests internationally, molecular genetics, mobile application development programming courses, and several other advanced STEM programs. With the Ingwersen’s Trust, Chehalis Foundation is starting to fund STEM programs in middle school and elementary classes as well. These will be important to generate early interest.
You can read about some of the great projects made possible by the support of the Ingwersen’s Trust here: Educational Excellence or Parks and Recreation. Chehalis is incredibly fortunate to have had people like the Ingwersen’s who so loved this community and passionately believed in it that they wanted to leave a legacy such as their generous gift.