Generosity is a family affair for Janet and Roger DeBard.
The couple created the DeBard Johnson Foundation, Inc., in 2003 as a resource for charitable giving that would endure through multiple generations. It started with the birth of Roger and Janet DeBard’s first grandson, Jack, from daughter, Eila, and her husband, Jeff Johnson. Oliver joined the tradition a few years later.
The four trustees and the grandchildren research prospects for grants in five categories: health care, arts, education, social services and environment. The DeBard family is perpetuating the gift of shared generosity that will not only touch their children and grandchildren but the lives of future generations.
Janet and Roger live the legacy they hope to pass to future generations by exemplifying the spirit of generosity.
Roger’s gifts of time and talent have included the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, Sun Valley Opera and the Los Angeles Library Association. Today, he serves as a St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation Board member and chairman of the Finance/Investment Committee.
“When we casually ask people why they choose to live (full or part time) in Sun Valley, a response often includes an expression of gratefulness in having excellent physicians and staff associated with St. Luke’s,” Roger says. “Residents and visitors notice the quality of health care available to their families. It’s a good reason to support St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and the broader St. Luke’s system.” The couple’s support also includes generous intentions to include St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation in their estate plan. By joining St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation’s Legacy Society, the DeBards will have a lasting impact well after their lifetimes.
When the DeBards shared their intentions and became members of the Legacy Society, they were given free, confidential, credentialed charitable estate planning services to ensure their estate plans reflected the generous legacy they wished to pass along. Janet DeBard also lives in service to others. She is the family foundation’s president and founding member, also a founding member and past president of the Wood River Women’s Foundation and now chairman of the President’s Council and former board member of Los Angeles’ Barnsdale Art Center.
“I am very proud of the growth and vitality of the Wood River Women’s Foundation—over 300 members and growing. We have supported a vast array of Blaine County nonprofits with gifts totaling over $2 million to date,” Janet says. “St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation has been a recipient of several of our grants. It humbles me to see what women coming together can accomplish.” Their grandsons are already showing their savvy for sharing and caring. Beginning in elementary school, their mother Eila exposed the boys to the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism. Jack Johnson, 16, recently proposed a grant for the National Outdoor Leadership Scholarship Program (NOLS) Wilderness Medical Emergency Training Program. His younger brother Oliver, 12, selected “Filling in the Blanks,” a Connecticut weekend food distribution network for food insecure children similar to the Hunger Coalition in Blaine County. Both boys proposed support of HORIZON, an educational enrichment program for disadvantaged children in Connecticut.
Says proud grandpa Roger, “Janet and I are inspired to see our grandchildren so interested in helping others through the family foundation gifts and their volunteerism.”