We’re so excited to finally pop in with a long-awaited update on the Kendall Wernet Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina! Fancy names aside, this is simply an opportunity for us to live out the Boy Scout slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily,” and generously support people in our community. Because Kendall’s passions spanned many organizations and subjects, our vision in creating the community foundation fund was to contribute to a variety of causes instead of confine his legacy to a single one.
AND! We’re thrilled to say that, because of your help, we’ve been busy doing just that! Since its creation in summer 2015, the Kendall Wernet Legacy Fund has gone toward people and passions we’re proud to support, and we’re just getting started. Our goal is to create a long-term legacy of generosity in Western North Carolina and beyond. Here are the causes we’ve chosen to contribute to so far, and we have some more on the way!:
4/13/2016: Donation to Bike and Build, Inc. for the fundraising efforts of Cole Rains. One of Kendall’s close friends from high school, Cole biked from Maine to Santa Barbara in 2016 with Bike and Build, an advocacy and service group that travels the USA teaching about affordable housing and helping on affordable housing building sites. Because Cole was a top fundraiser, he was able to contribute an additional $1,000 to an individual recipient of the Asheville Area Habitat Home Preservation Program. We know Kendall would be so proud of Cole!
5/23/2016: Donation to TC Roberson High School and Cane Creek Middle School in their pursuits of excellence in school music education. These band programs, beloved by the Wernet family, chose to use earlier memorial contributions to commission a symphonic piece in memory of Kendall. Renowned composer Paul Murtha was chosen to write “To Seek the Glorious,” and it premiered in 2016.
Watch TC Roberson and Cane Creek bands perform “To Seek the Glorious” here.
Notice how the song ends with a trumpet — Kendall’s instrument — playing off stage.
10/3/2017: Donation to Clemson University Foundation for the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel Fund, given in memory of Kendall Wernet toward building the first-ever chapel on the Clemson campus.
WHAT’S NEXT: We’re celebrating Kendall’s birthday, June 7, with a Facebook pop-up fundraiser for Manna Food Bank. All donations given between June 7 and June 30, 2018, will go toward Manna Packs For Kids, a program that specifically addresses the fact that one in four children in WNC homes are living in homes without enough food to last through the weekend. Every Friday, Manna discreetly slips high-nutrient, shelf stable food into children’s backpacks to prevent hunger. Find out more about the program here. In addition, every donation given during June 7-30 will be matched! If every friend or family member of Kendall's gives $5 or $10, we'll be making a true community impact. Stay tuned for the official donation link on Facebook!
If you’re aware of a specific local need or cause needing support, email Kaitlin Wernet for details on applying to become a Kendall Wernet Legacy Fund beneficiary.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your generosity and passion for our community. We’re grateful for the ways you’ve rallied behind remembering Kendall and know he’s looking down on us smiling about the ways his legacy continues.
Bob, Helen, and Kaitlin Wernet