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Dave Jacobs

Growing up in Bedford in the 1920s and 30s, Dave Jacobs learned early in life about the value of community and the importance of giving.  “We were always taught that this community is our home, and you need to participate in it and understand it, and enhance its value by what you can do for it,” Jacobs said.  His parents led by their own example of community involvement.  Scouting reinforced the idea to this young man that he should “help other people at all times.” 

Jacobs continues to manage the business his father opened in 1909, Bedford Furniture Galleries.  And he carries on the family tradition of community involvement with gusto.  He volunteers for the local Boy Scouts council and the Lawrence County Community Foundation.  Jacobs also serves on the boards of the North Lawrence Scholarship Foundation as well as the Lawrence County Historical and Genealogical Society.  He has been active with public bodies like the City Plan Commission too. 

In addition to giving of his time, Jacobs provides financial support for a variety of causes that speak to his values.  Two endowment funds at the Community Foundation have helped him achieve some of his charitable goals.  In 2000, he founded a designated fund for the Hoosier Trails Council of Boy Scouts.  Before that, in 1996, he started the Jacobs Family Fund for the Environment.  “I’ve always appreciated the way an American Indian feels about life. . . they were caretakers for the land,” he explains.  “We have wonderful natural resources here in Lawrence County , and we need to take care of them.” 

High on Jacobs’ list of environmental priorities is Bedford ’s water and sewer system.  “When I was in the military, on the medical end, I found out it is just impossible to get along without a good water and sewer system.  All health and safety is directly tied to that.”  Bedford ’s vulnerability became clear to him in the 1980s, when he served on the board of the Housing Authority.  A pumping system blew out, and with no back-up pumping station at that time, the City wasn’t equipped to handle it.  Several decades later, it appears that there’s still no good plan for how these facilities will be kept up-to-date.  Jacobs envisions the Jacobs Family Fund helping to protect the environment by funding a variety of other projects too, such as planting trees for clean air and preserving agricultural land.  The Jacobs Family Fund was intended to grow over a set period of years and then begin grantmaking.  It is a donor-advised fund, so when it begins paying out, Dave and his son will be able to recommend specific grants. 

Whether the resource is environmental or financial, Dave Jacobs believes in conserving it.  Financial professionals, seminars, and personal experience in volunteering and family life have all helped him learn about prudent management of financial assets.  “Oftentimes, too much money gets passed down from parent to child and the child blows it and the resources are wasted.  Now we’re getting smarter about it,” he says.  When his father’s estate was being settled, the family accountant recommended the use of a trust to preserve assets.  As a result, more could be given to charity.  Jacobs is establishing his own Charitable Remainder Trust.  He has plans for deferred giving to various charitable causes.  He explains:  “Whether I’m here or not, I want the community to be a strong community.”

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