News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Phone: 608.822.2303
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: June 14, 2022

Kopps see value in planned giving

Fennimore -

Couple looking at camera with colorful trees in background

(Note: This article is featured in the recent issue of the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Annual Report.)

Making a donation is a very personal decision and one that can impact many lives for years. At Southwest Tech, there are a variety of planned giving options.

One couple who sees the value in planned giving is Joe and Kathy Kopp, from Platteville, Wisconsin. They recognize the impact of the college in the region and the role it plays in educating the workforce, as well as keeping graduates in the area. They have worked with the Southwest Tech Foundation on planned giving. “We are excited,” said Kathy. “Joe and I are deeply thankful that we’ll be able to help some students along the way reach their dreams and continue living in Southwest Wisconsin.”

Kathy from the Platteville Regional Chamber after 27 years of service, while Joe is retired from Eastman Cartwright Lumber Company, where he worked as a carpenter and master craftsman for more than 40 years. The couple has owned several small businesses throughout the years, as well.

Through her work with the Chamber and the connections she made, Kathy saw first-hand the positive force that the college makes for those who choose to attend. “It’s an incredible institution,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud. I really hope that people understand the importance and the value that Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has on our area.”

Now that Joe and Kathy are retired it came time to evaluate their estate planning. Given the connections to campus; Kathy’s Chamber connections, as well a granddaughter who will be attending the college next year, relatives who graduated from the college, and her father, who was a master mechanic and who had a tie to the college, the Kopps felt Southwest Tech was a perfect choice to be included in their plan. “We worked really hard our entire lives and we have been very fortunate with some investments and we feel that one of the most important places that we can make a contribution and make an impression is by leaving money to Southwest Wisconsin Technical College,” said Kathy. “We’re very proud to even be thinking about it and we’re very fortunate that we can even do it, and it’s basically number one on our list.”

Kathy noted many of her relatives graduated from Southwest Tech in the agricultural programs. She grew up on a farm outside of Platteville. “The ag community is the heart and soul of our community,” she said. “I love seeing these young people going into farming.”

As for advice for others who may be interested in giving, Kathy says to, “do it.”

“The staff at Southwest Tech, through the Foundation, are awesome people,” she said. “They make the process so easy. They seem so appreciative of having people step forward to make a difference. Joe and I are really proud of the fact that at some point when we are gone, Southwest Tech, through some of the programs will be able to continue its excellent work.”

About Planned Giving

There are several types of planned gifts and the Foundation staff encourages anyone thinking about a planned gift to reach out with questions and to assist with proper documentation.

Visionary Circle members are anyone who made a gift from their estate to the Southwest Tech Foundation or named the foundation in their will or established a charitable trust benefiting Southwest Tech or made a gift of insurance or any other similar deferred gift, and documented their charitable intent with the foundation.

The Southwest Tech Foundation was incorporated in 1980 to identify, solicit, and manage alternative sources of funding to support the commitment to excellence of Southwest Tech. All gifts to the foundation are tax deductible to the limits of the law.

The foundation is dedicated to providing alternative financial support for Southwest Tech’s programs program’s students and staff. The foundation accepts in-kind gifts of equipment, supplies, and resources to assist the college in providing the greatest educational opportunities possible.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Kim Schmelz, Foundation director, at 608-822-2379.


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