Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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William L. Phillips Fund

Bill Phillips’s love of the Hocking Adena Bikeway started years before he moved to the Hocking Hills. Now, it will continue for generations to come through a gift that he’s planned in his will to establish the William L. Phillips Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

While Bill lived in Columbus and worked as a genealogist, he would come to the Hocking Hills to enjoy the landscape and the pace of life. While touring the countryside in 1985, he saw a for-sale sign on a property and decided to look into it. Within a few weeks, he owned the property.

As first a visitor and later a community member, Bill enjoyed spending time on the bike trail that spans from Nelsonville to Athens.

“It’s fun,” he said. “It promotes good health and is a good way to relax. And the scenery along the bike path is outstanding.”

On the bike path, he found a place where community members and visitors could enjoy the outdoors, test their physical limits, and explore their gratitude for the gifts of nature and their ability to enjoy it. To share his love for the bike path, Bill wrote a poem, “The Bike Trail,” which is published in his More Hill Country Poems (2015). The poem is excerpted below and available in full here.

It should come as no surprise that as Bill was planning his estate with his attorney he was looking for a chance to give back by investing in the bike path.

“I thought I would help other people enjoy what I have enjoyed,” Bill said.

By planning to leave a gift through his will, Bill and the Fund that will be established in his name will help people enjoy the Hocking Adena Bikeway for generations to come. To learn more about Bill’s planned gift, click here to view the story on Bill that appeared in FAO’s 2016 annual newsletter.