Fund fulfills former Olympic hockey player’s legacy

A love for ice hockey led Kathy and Pat Rupp to Dayton more than 40 years ago, but the community’s small-town feeling and friendly atmosphere enticed the Rupps to stay and raise their family. Before founding Pat Rupp & Associates, a financial planning firm in Dayton, Pat Rupp played for the Dayton Gems and on the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic Hockey Teams. He continued to play hockey in his spare time, until he passed away in 2006. Kathy Rupp attributes her and her late husband’s religious and modest upbringings for their desire to help others.

Why do you believe in giving back to your community?

Both Pat and I liked to help people, and living in Dayton and being accepted into the community helped us decide to give back to the community. We also didn’t have much growing up. When you find yourself earning a good living later in life, you want to do more to help others in need. In my generation, we were taught that we had to work for what we wanted. Things didn’t come easy to us. It’s our responsibility to teach the next generation the importance of helping others who are less fortunate. By sharing what you earn with others in need, you develop a greater sense of respect for yourself and for your community. It connects you to your community.

Why did you decide to make Dayton your home?

We agreed that when our children were of school age we would stop moving and make a home. We liked the idea of living in a smaller city compared to the bigger cities where we were raised – I grew up in Philadelphia and Pat in Detroit. Of all the places that we lived, we felt most comfortable in Dayton and wanted to make it our home. Pat had started to work for Investors Diversified Services and enjoyed being able to finish his hockey career in Dayton and also start a new career.

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What volunteer activities have you been involved with in the community?

Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley (CSSMV) was one of many charities important to us. I continue to volunteer with them today. Every year the CSSMV holds a golf Tournament in Pat’s memory to raise money for their charities. My family and I volunteer for the outing and enjoy meeting the many people who play and help with the event.

One charity you’ve supported through your fund is Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation. Do you have a particular focus for your giving now?

Pat and I used to walk our dog there every day and watch as the Children’s Discovery Garden took shape. Watching it being built, we felt as if we were a part of its development. Although Pat is gone, I still enjoy walking through the gardens. Wegerzyn Gardens is a big part of me, and I continue to support them. I know Pat would have wanted to help maintain the gardens for our community’s children.

I also support several other charities that are important to me, including Catholic Social Services, Headstrong Foundation in honor of my brother, Hospice of Dayton and Special Olympics of Greater Dayton for my niece who has Down syndrome. I also volunteer for and make grants to the National Future Farmers of America, which helps Dayton-area youth by developing their potential for leadership and careers.

You and your husband established one of the first Family Foundation PlusSM funds, a private foundation alternative, through The Dayton Foundation. How is the Foundation helping you to help others?

The Dayton Foundation provides a good service and sound financial management, which is why Pat wholeheartedly recommended them to his clients. They make it so easy to give to charity. I can go online, log into my fund and select the charity I wish to support and the amount I want to give. They take care of everything for me, including all the paperwork. I’m glad that our fund has enabled us to give back to our community, which has been so good to us.

How would you complete this sentence, “My giving makes me feel____?”

Good. Knowing that I can help someone, even just a little bit, makes me feel good. And I’m grateful that my children and I are passing on Pat’s legacy through our fund.

The Dayton Foundation has been helping people help others since 1921 by managing charitable funds, awarding grants to nonprofits and launching community initiatives. Contact the Foundation at (937) 222-0410 or visit www.daytonfoundation.org.

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