OREF’s Shands Circle sets membership goal
Aims to add 80 new members this year
By Gene Wurth, JD
Influenced by peers, encouraged by mentors and motivated by the desire to fund the future of orthopaedics, individuals are accepting memberships in the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation’s (OREF’s) Shands Circle in nearly record-breaking numbers.
The Alfred R. Shands Jr. Circle is OREF’s high-recognition society for donors who have contributed $20,000 or more in cash gifts or $50,000 or more in deferred gifts such as trusts, bequests and insurance policies.
Shands Circle members’ contributions fund the OREF Endowment, which supports orthopaedic research in perpetuity, giving Shands members the satisfaction of knowing they have made a permanent investment in the future of orthopaedic knowledge. The Endowment is comprised of a general fund for OREF that is directed by the Board of Trustees and 29 other funds for specific causes that benefit the larger orthopaedic community. Shands Circle members may designate all or a portion of their commitment to one or more of the established endowment funds, or to the general OREF fund.
In 1995, the first full year after the Shands Circle began, membership increased by more than 150 percent, from 50 to 126 members. Today, the Shands Circle includes 380 members whose contributions have a value of more than $18 million in currently invested assets, and more than $25 million in planned gift commitments.
From 1997 to 2002, the Shands Circle grew at a steady pace of about 30 new members each year. But in 2003, membership escalated rapidly, with 64 new donors.
“With the dedicated efforts of the Shands Committee and OREF staff, we welcomed the most new members since the first full year after the Shands Circle was initiated,” said Charles A. Rockwood Jr, MD, chairman of the Alfred R. Shands Jr. Circle Committee.
Building on this success, OREF has set a goal of 80 new Shands Circle members in 2004. Achieving this goal would increase total membership in the Circle to more than 400, and set a new single-year growth record. However, with three quarters of the year gone, we have yet to meet half our goal.
Reasons to join
Shands Circle members offer various reasons for making such a notable commitment to OREF. Some are long-time Order of Merit donors—those who give $1,000 or more to OREF’s Annual Campaign—who want to see their gifts fund future orthopaedic research. Others give at the Shands Circle level because their mentors have done so.
David B. Coward, MD, for example, had donated $1,000 to OREF each year for nearly 20 years after a request from his colleague William R. Tipton, MD. Dr. Coward decided to join the Shands Circle when he and his wife were planning their estate. They arranged for an insurance policy to be donated to OREF.
“I felt OREF had done quite a lot for our orthopaedic society and I feel there’s a real need to have the ability to conduct ongoing research,” said Dr. Coward. “I think we should all look carefully at what we’re doing and realize that much of what we do today is based upon research that’s been done by others. I certainly felt the commitment to help ensure the future of orthopaedic research and that’s why my wife and I made that donation.”
Kimberly J. Templeton, MD, joined the Shands Circle in part because of the example set by Joy McCann Daugherty and Robert Daugherty Jr., MD. The Daughertys endowed the Joy McCann Professorship at Kansas University, which recognizes a female faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and mentoring. As a recipient of the Professorship, Dr. Templeton saw the value in making a large contribution to orthopaedic research.
“Giving at this level makes a statement about what is important to you and encourages others to get involved,” said Dr. Templeton, who designated half of her gift to the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, specifically to support and encourage female orthopaedic surgeons. She directed the other half to support the work of the AAOS Diversity Committee.
“Joining at the Shands level is a way for me to encourage young women and minorities to go into medicine in general, and more specifically, into orthopaedic medicine,” she said.
Along with the satisfaction of knowing they have made a permanent investment in the future of orthopaedic knowledge, Shands members receive other benefits, such as inclusion on the AAOS VIP housing reservations list and access to OREF’s VIP Suite at AAOS Annual Meeting. Shands members also receive invitations to OREF’s Shands Circle Gala, a black-tie optional reception and dinner, and recognition at the OREF exhibit and in the Annual Report.
For more information on joining the Shands Circle, please contact Tom Coffman at (847) 384-4349 or email@example.com or Robin Russell, Shands Circle coordinator, at (847) 384-4358 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene Wurth, JD, is executive director of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. He can be reached at email@example.com