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The VanTrains Embraced Smart Giving
/ September 19, 2017
The late Kay and  E.G. VanTrain had a passion for their community and wanted their charitable giving to have a broad impact. 

Sitting at a grant awards ceremony in Cleburne County in 2007, Kay VanTrain wondered why the grants seemed relatively small.  The executive director explained that as part of Arkansas Community Foundation, the local office is a part of a statewide network creating endowments and making grants across the state, and that the local board was developing a pool of funds to grant out locally. Kay said, "Well, we want to join!"

The VanTrains recognized the Community Foundation’s potential to serve a wide variety of worthy causes and to protect and grow charitable funds. They had owned several telephone companies across Arkansas, so they used telecommunications stock to establish a fund that would give back to the state where they dedicated their life’s work. The VanTrains liked the idea that a single gift to the Community Foundation could affect the entire community, and they knew that greater impact could be made if the organization had a larger pool of funding for its annual grant cycles. 

Their generosity sparked a community-wide challenge to increase grant funds in Cleburne County. In fact, grant awards doubled the following year, and the VanTrain’s legacy continues to impact their community. 

Learn more about our affiliate office in Cleburne County

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