Gift adds good news to Horizon

Anonymous donor gives lasting legacy to Christian school

Horizon Christian School started fall semester on schedule Tuesday morning, and while most of the 170 students enrolled at the interdenominational school seemed eager to be back at their desks, ear-to-ear grins were just as abundant among teachers and administrators.

Horizon officials announced last week that the school has received a $160,000 gift from an anonymous donor to help build the school’s new facilities at 8th and Pacific streets in the Heights.

The gift came in the form of a “charitable remainder unitrust,” which means Horizon School and a family member of the donor will be co-trustees of the fund and will share investment management responsibilities. A charitable remainder unitrust makes lifelong income payments to one or more living “income beneficiaries” and one or more charitable beneficiaries — in this case Horizon Christian School. Upon the death of the last income beneficiary, the trust principal is paid to the charitable beneficiary.

“Horizon has been working with this particular donor since last fall in developing the appropriate trust arrangement to meet their ongoing income needs and to help them make a truly wonderful gift to the school,” said Stan Love, Horizon School board chair. “Including this gift in trust, Horizon has now received nearly $450,000 toward the new campus project.”

Horizon officials last month announced the purchase of the Heights property and their intentions to build a new school. Additional funding is being sought with the goal of completing the new facility in time for the 2004-05 school year, according to Love.

Dan Boyden, Horizon board vice-chair, said the new campus project will cost about $6 million. He said officials expect to use a combination of immediate financial gifts, bank loans and tax exempt bonds to finance the project.

Boyden said that unitrusts are a unique way to help the project both now and in the future.

“When Horizon receives the principal from (the unitrust) in the future, it will have the resources to pay off long term financing,” he said. “It is exciting to see how this project is coming together and unitrusts are one more way in which we can help donors help us.”

Horizon Christian is a K-12 school with a staff of 15. Its student body represents more than 25 churches in the Mid-Columbia. Currently, kindergarten through fourth grade classes are held at Valley Christian Church and grades five through 12 are held at First Baptist Church. The fine arts program is conducted at the Church of the Nazarene.

Contributions to the school, including those to help with the new campus project, can be sent to Horizon Christian School, 1889 Belmont Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.

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