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Smiths create trust to benefit children
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Steve and Kate Smith had a vision to provide a better life for children in this community. To achieve this goal, the couple established a trust to direct how their wealth would be distributed after their death.
According to Mr. Smith, he wished “to enhance the quality of life of the children in Warren County.” He believed this goal could be accomplished by supporting charitable organizations that “address the physical, mental, educational, artistic and spiritual needs of the children in our county.”
The Smiths, now both deceased, established the framework for the Steve and Kate Smith Community Trust in their estate planning. First National Bank has been charged with the responsibility of developing the procedures necessary to carry out the goals of this trust.
David Marttala, senior vice president and trust officer for the bank, says, “The bank has now set up the necessary procedures for administering the Smith’s trust.” He explained that as trustee, the bank has created a committee to oversee making grants to nonprofits located in Warren County.
“This being the first year, we’re going to have to see how it goes as far as the number of requests we receive,” said Marttala. “There may be some years where there’s one particular project that’s especially worthy, and there may be other years where there are a number of projects that receive money. We want everyone to know about this opportunity and if there’s an organization out there that might need $50,000, this is a chance to get it. We don’t want to discourage anyone from applying, but it’s limited to organizations in Warren County and to organizations that help children.”
Marttala said the amount awarded each year would vary somewhat due to financial market conditions. He didn’t give a ballpark figure about what the annual distributions might be. The trust is to continue indefinitely.
The nonprofit must be an organization described in Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) of the code and must be exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Additionally, the nonprofit must abide by the mission the Smiths established for the trust, which is to enhance the quality of life of the children of Warren County by addressing their physical, mental, educational, artistic and spiritual needs. Grants cannot be made to individuals and generally will not be made for advertising or sponsorship, social or fundraising events, or recurring expenses related to operations or salaries.
The committee plans to review grant requests once a year. However, the committee will accept grant applications throughout the year. In order to receive a grant for 2013, Marttala said applications must be received by April 30 and decisions will be made on or before June 30.
The committee requires the nonprofit to submit a packet of information with its application. An application checklist and a proposal cover sheet are available at the bank’s main branch located at 200 East Main Street. This information may also be obtained on the bank’s website,, by following the links provided on the bank’s home page or call the bank’s trust department at 473-4402.
“It could be a sports-related program or it could be arts-related,” said Marttala. “The verbiage of the will is that it’s any program that will help kids. This also might get some groups that are nonprofits to think about new programs that can help kids.”
The community has Stephen Pitson Smith and Ada Kathleen Dodson Smith to thank for the trust. The couple lived a quiet, unassuming life for many years after their retirements.
Steve had been an owner in his family’s machine manufacturing business, Powermatic Machine Company. Kate, a graduate of the old Tennessee College in Murfreesboro, taught in McMinnville schools prior to her marriage to Steve.
Steve enjoyed looking after his cattle, gardening and taking care of his extensive lawn. Kate had a variety of interests, including music and garden clubs and church work.
The couple resided on the property known as the old Forest Home on Nashville Highway where they had built their dream home. Since the Smiths were not blessed with children during their marriage, the couple decided to utilize their wealth to help other children in their community who may not have been as fortunate.
Life in retirement continued for Steve and Kate until Kate fell ill and died in 2003. Steve continued life on his own until December 2012 when he died at 95. During the almost 10 years after Kate’s death, Steve never wavered in carrying out the couple’s desire to help the children of Warren County.
At his death, Steve provided for the establishment of the Steve and Kate Smith Community Trust. Steve set out the mission for the trust as part of his last will and testament.