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Planning Ahead Provides for Community’s Future

Plan for your future. This is a phrase we often utter to young and old alike. Most people are aware they should plan for their future and that of their families. But what about the future of our communities?

Plan for your future. This is a phrase we often utter to young and old alike. Most people are aware they should plan for their future and that of their families. But what about the future of our communities? Who helps us prepare for that? It requires people with compassion and forethought to plan ahead for the betterment of their community long after they are gone. People like Mrs. Mary Averill Stanton.

Mary Stanton was born in Aiken and moved to Columbia when she was 20. She ran the family business, Averill Shoe Store, along with her first husband, Henry Averill. Mary was a savvy businesswoman. Her first taste of the stock market came when her parents began giving her stock as a young child. Her financial advisor and friend, John Stover, spoke of Mary’s keen insight about the market. “She had an uncanny ability to identify both industries and particular companies that would be up-and-coming,” Stover said.

Despite her financial means, Mary didn’t lead an extravagant lifestyle. She lived conservatively, owning an old Buick that suited her needs just fine. Mary did however lead a very rich life. According to John, she was a very interesting and entertaining woman with many friends. She was very involved with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and an early founder of the Trinity Bazaar.

When Mary began making provisions for her estate, she sought assistance from John. Mary wanted a portion of her estate to be endowed, to make sure it would keep giving long after she was gone. It was very important to her to feel confidence in whomever she chose to assist her with her philanthropic goals. She wanted assurance that her gift would be managed with the same diligence in which she gave it and that her requests would be respected. John told her about Central Carolina Community Foundation and the services we offer. Mary decided to bequest a portion of her estate to the Foundation.

The proceeds from Mary’s estate created three funds at the Community Foundation upon the death of her daughter, Rosetta Miller. Two are designated to assist specific nonprofits in the Midlands. The third endowment provides unrestricted funds for the Community Foundation’s competitive grantmaking. Mary’s generosity will live on through the legacy she has created. Our community is fortunate to have individuals like Mrs. Stanton who plan ahead and provide for our future.