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The name of the fund is The West Point Class of 1955 Caring Fund.
The purpose of the fund is to provide a method for members of the Class of 1955 to demonstrate their caring and concern for their classmates, by donating funds for emergency assistance to other members of the Class of 1955, and their widows, in the event they find themselves in need of temporary assistance. The need may arise out of medical conditions, unforeseen financial emergencies or other urgent problems considered by the Caring Fund Committee to warrant the grant of benefits. This Caring Fund is separate from the fund provided for in the separate Standard Operating Procedures “Response to Death of a Classmate” (Flower Fund).
It is recommended that classmates file this document with their personal papers so that your next-of-kin will be aware of the availability of the Caring Fund and your Class of 1955 Point of Contact. Since the DD214, Record of Military Service is an essential document for military benefits and interment in a National Cemetery, locating the Caring Fund and Flower Fund SOP’s with your DD214 would assist those who will be responsible for your personal affairs.
The fund will be set up under the supervision of the Caring Fund Committee, with actual deposits made as directed by the Caring Fund Committee and the Class Treasurer to the Class of 1955 Administrative Fund at the Association of Graduates. Neither the Caring Fund Committee, nor the Class Treasurer or any other member of the class is to be expected to pay any income taxes or other taxes on the fund or any earnings on the fund. The balance in the fund will be kept at a low enough level so that expenditures can be made on a current basis as the need arises, while minimizing exposure to any possible tax reporting and liability. The only exception to the above would be the possible exposure to gift tax liability for any single donor who gives more than $12,000.00 in Calendar Year 2006 (or such other amount as is allowed for tax-free gifts) to a single beneficiary in a calendar year. The annual gift non-taxable amount changes annually predicated upon the current tax laws.
The fund is to be administered by a Caring Fund Committee established by the Class President. The Class Vice-President and the Class Treasurer will be ex-officio members of this Committee.
In the event that funds are requested by any classmate or widow of a classmate for hardship reasons, the request will be made to the Caring Fund Committee. The Caring Fund Committee may authorize the distribution of such funds as it considers warranted under the circumstances. If the Caring Fund Committee considers it advisable to verify or clarify the need for assistance, the Caring Fund Committee may enlist the help of any classmate who lives close enough to the requesting party to inquire into the matter and advise the Caring Fund Committee. A request for assistance for a classmate or widow may also be made by any other classmate on their behalf. In the course of evaluating a need, but without delaying the response, the Caring Fund Committee should consider whether there are other agencies which might be called on to help in assisting the beneficiary, in addition to the Caring Fund. (Such other agencies could include the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association, the Army Emergency Relief or comparable agency of another service, the Red Cross, the Retired Personnel or Survivor Assistance Office at the nearest military installation, the Alliance on Aging, Legal Services for Seniors, and the local District Attorney’s Office for elder abuse cases.) The Caring Fund Committee will inform the Executive Committee when distributions are to be made.
If requested by the beneficiary, the Caring Fund Committee will make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of any request for assistance, disclosing the nature of the request only to the Executive Committee and any classmate who is asked to assist in the verification process. However, beneficiaries should be aware that a request for confidentiality may impair the Committee’s ability to obtain donations sufficient to meet the need. Donor anonymity will also be respected on request.
5. CALLS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
If a request for assistance is received which exceeds the funds then available, the Caring Fund Committee will put out a call to the entire class, through the Executive Committee, for additional contributions to the fund. If the beneficiary agrees, the identity of the beneficiary and the nature of the request may be disclosed in the call for contributions.
The Caring Fund Committee will decide when to make calls for contributions, keeping in mind the objective not to maintain any unnecessarily high balance in the account.
Contributions are to be made by check payable to the Class of 1955 Administrative Fund and delivered to the Class Treasurer, unless the donor prefers to make the contribution directly to the beneficiary.
The Caring Fund Committee will send notification to each living classmate and to the widows of deceased classmates announcing the establishment and availability of the Caring Fund. All classmates will be encouraged to contribute upon receipt of each call for contributions. All classmates will also be encouraged to pass on the information about the Caring Fund to their wives and to keep a copy of the Caring Fund Operating Procedures and the Standard Operating Procedure-Response to Death of a Classmate with their wills for ready reference by survivors.
The expenses of the Caring Fund, such as postage, bank checking account charges, etc., are to be paid out of the Class of 1955 Administrative Fund. Requests for expense payment are to be submitted to the Class Treasurer.
The fund is to be kept in liquid form, so funds will be available without delay. Because the fund balance is to be kept at a low level, and to avoid the generation of IRS Forms 1099 or other income tax reports, the fund is not intended to be invested in stocks or bonds.
All members of the West Point Class of 1955 and their widows are eligible beneficiaries. Eligibility shall not depend on whether or not a classmate has previously made any contributions to the Fund. Reimbursement to the Fund is not necessary, but if a beneficiary’s situation improves to the point where any reimbursement is possible, then the Fund should accept it with thanks.
10. NO TAX EXEMPTION
At this time it is not expected that any tax exemption will be available for donations to the Fund. The Fund is not to be driven by tax exemption considerations. However, the Caring Fund Committee will remain watchful for any changes which might allow for tax exemptions.
The Fund shall be terminated upon the earlier of the following events:
There are no more funds available and calls for donations fail to produce more funds.
The termination of the Class Fund at the AOG, in which case any remaining funds in this Caring Fund shall be distributed in the same manner.
DATED AND APPROVED BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON 27 July 2005 - Amended 31 March 2006
CARING FUND COMMITTEE:
/S/ROBERT M. HINRICHS, CHAIRMAN
JAMES M. CUTCHIN, IV
PAUL F. PARKS
RICHARD G. CARDILLO, Ex Officio
WILLIAM B. STREETT, JR., Ex Officio
31 March 2006
This procedure is based on the following assumptions, which have been verified by the Caring Fund Drafting Committee’s investigation to the best of its ability.
1. Under current law (2006), any donation of $12,000 or more by a single donor for the benefit of a single beneficiary in a calendar year could incur gift tax liability for the donor. Most potential donors do not want to incur gift tax liability for donations to the fund.
2. It is desirable to obtain donations, no matter how small, from as many members of the class as possible, so that there will be a true sense that the Class of 1955 as a whole really does care about the welfare of our classmates and their widows.
3. It is desirable to set up the fund so that there will be no income tax reporting responsibility and no income tax liability incurred for the Class of 1955 or any member thereof. In furtherance of this objective, it is desirable to keep the balance in the fund at a low level, sufficient to pay for small expenses, and to make specific calls for larger donations only when an actual need arises.
4. It is not expected that there will be many requests for assistance from the fund. Therefore, there should be no need to require the maintenance of a large balance. Maintaining the balance of the fund at a low level also minimizes the problem of deciding what to do with the remaining funds when there are no more classmates who are likely to need assistance from the fund. Nevertheless, the Class feels it is important to provide help to any classmate in time of need.
5. Records of the usage of the fund will be maintained by the Caring Fund Committee.
6. The AOG will place the funds in an appropriate bank or other account, account for the fund, receive any IRS Forms 1099 and equivalent state forms, and prepare any tax reports and returns that may be required by state or federal authorities. If it is necessary or advisable for the Class of 1955 to waive any interest earned on the account and let the AOG collect any interest, in order to shield the Class and its members from income tax reporting and liability, then the Class will be prepared to execute such a waiver.