David Grundlach, who died last summer at age 56, left stipulations to create the endowment for the Elkhart County Community Foundation, an umbrella group that services non-profit groups in the area. The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reports the money comes with no strings attached and can be spent any way the foundation's directors wish.
Foundation President Pete McCown said he met with Grundlach, who made his fortune in real estate, insurance and the movie industry, when he first wrote the endowment into his will last year. When McCown asked whether Grundlach had any special wishes for how the money should be spent, he demurred.
"He said, 'Kiddo, my understanding is that your foundation exists to do good in my hometown,'" McCown recalled to the newspaper. "I said, 'That's what I understand.' He said, 'Your foundation is better qualified to answer that question than I am.' "
The gift, the sixth largest bequest in the U.S. this year, will transform the agency, which presently distributed about $750,000 to dozens of arts, cultural, education, health and community service groups each year.