First introduced to Arizona State University through the Sundome Performing Arts Center, Russ and Kathryn Smith have been loyal supporters of theater at the university ever since. Indiana natives, they moved to Sun City West 17 years ago after living in northern California for a number of years.
"Russ and I share a love of the performing arts, especially musical theater," said Kathryn. "We began supporting the Sundome as soon as we moved here."
Travel is another passion they share — one that they enjoy frequently. While they take yearly trips with friends to Alaska, they often venture to new places as well. Their most memorable was a cruise down the Volga River in Russia. When not traveling, both Russ and Kathryn stay active — Russ, a retired five-day-a-week golfer, can be found playing pool at his community's recreation center or cards at his club, while Kathryn enjoys taking organ lessons and making quilts for her children and grandchildren.
Though they attend performances at ASU Gammage, another way the Smiths support the university is through the Arizona State University Charitable Gift Annuity program. "When we first heard about the charitable gift annuity it sounded like a great way to support the theater," said Russ, who was particularly attracted to the tax benefits they would receive from their gift.
In fact, they were so pleased with their first gift annuity, Russ and Kathryn have since established other annuities with ASU. One annuity was funded with stock. "We had some shares that had increased in value. If we had sold them, we would have been hit pretty hard tax-wise."
When asked, the Smiths will tell you the fixed, lifetime payments they receive go to a good cause — "more cruises!" But they will also tell you their biggest reward is how their gift annuities help them to faithfully support the university's theater program. Their charitable gift annuities have thus been the ideal way for them to meet several goals.