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Harrington gift supports research and education

Dr. Vernon smiling

The late Dr. Vernon Harrington

When he retired, Dr. Vern Harrington worked to rekindle support for Duluth Clinic Foundation by helping raise $750,000 from his fellow physicians and colleagues.

When he died last January, Dr. Harrington again showed his support for the Foundation through generous donations from a charitable remainder trust and a beneficiary designation from his retirement plan. He and his late wife, Dottie, used estate planning tools to support research and education at the Duluth Clinic and to also benefit Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth.

Dr. Harrington, an internal medicine physician, joined the Duluth Clinic in 1952 and served as its president from 1974-75. A persuasive leader, he was known for identifying issues and seeking solutions. Dr. Harrington saw donations to Duluth Clinic Foundation as a way for physicians to demonstrate their commitment to the community.

"It was so obvious that Dr. Harrington enjoyed caring for people. Even in his Florida retirement years, he loved serving the community as a volunteer physician," said Steve Yorde, executive director of the Essentia Health Foundation.

"Vern's enthusiasm for medicine fueled his desire, and Dottie's, to give generously to the causes they believed in," says Dr. Robert Wahman, a former chair of the St. Mary's Medical Foundation. He noted Dr. Harringon was also a leader for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. "Vern was a very strong advocate for advancing medical care for the future and that's what the Foundation is all about."

Designating the Foundation as a beneficiary of a retirement plan is simple, much like naming a person to receive the money after your death, says Suzanne Anderson, director of development for the Essentia Health Foundation.

A charitable remainder trust removes the amount of the gift from the taxable portion of your estate and you receive an annual income from the trust, Anderson explains. Upon death, the remaining amount goes to the Foundation. It can be designated for research, education, a certain program or department, or it can be left unrestricted and used in the area of greatest need.

To learn more about estate planning and ways that you can help Essentia Health Foundation, please contact Anderson at (218) 786-1783 or suzanne.anderson@essentiahealth.org.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Essentia Health Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Essentia Health Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose or for its ____________ program (i.e. Cancer, hospice, research, etc.)."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Essentia Health Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Essentia Health Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Essentia Health Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Essentia Health Foundation where you agree to make a gift to Essentia Health Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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