A Quiet Gift

Mom and Dad never talked about themselves,” says Jackie Dean of her parents Beverly and John Coles. “They did nice things because they wanted to, never for
the recognition.”

It should come as no surprise then that years ago Jackie’s parents, Beverly and John Coles, quietly created the 21st Century Fund with the Wyoming Community Foundation. So quietly, in fact, Jackie and her siblings only recently realized it exists.

“We learned of the fund quite by accident,” says Jackie.

Last year Beverly passed away. Her kids were at the house sorting through things when they found a Wyoming Community Foundation fund statement. None of them were quite sure what it was about.

They’d soon learn about their parent’s generosity and the incredible impact the fund has had on Evanston’s nonprofit community.

Giving Comes Naturally

Beverly and John Coles ranched outside of Evanston. Ranching was tough and the family sometimes struggled to make ends meet. John took correspondence courses from UW to earn his teaching degree and got a
job as a teacher with the Wyoming State Hospital.

Beverly worked at the bank and eventually the two worked for the Wasatch National Forest.

“At some point they found natural gas on Mom and Dad’s land and that turned everything around,” says Jackie.

It gave Beverly and John the freedom to travel and enjoy life more. It also
meant they could be more generous to the causes important to them. Including the Evanston community.

“Giving was a natural thing for them,” says Jackie. “There may be something
else out there that they gave to that we don’t know about.”

What we do know is that Beverly and John’s fund inspired a huge amount of
giving in the community.

Nearly 280 gifts ranging from $15 to $521,000 have been added to the fund since the two created it. The size of the gifts may be different, but the goal behind each gift was the same: to make the Evanston community a better place.

Over the years it’s done just that. Since 1996, 57 grants have been made totaling $200,000 to nonprofits. We have John and Beverly to thank for that.

The 21st Century Fund

$5,000: Original gift amount in 1996 Year the program began

2018 Grants: $32,950 to Bluegrass Evanston, Evanston Youth Clubs for Girls & Boys, Festival for Families, Raising Readers in Wyoming, Uinta County Sheriff’s Office Victim/Witness Program, and Uinta Senior Citizens

First Grant: $350 to support Young Musicians, Inc. in 1998