FY22 Annual Report Our Givers: Oak Leaf Society

Oak Leaf Society Members leave a legacy of giving

Oak Leaf Society members have demonstrated their commitment to Iowa’s children and families through planned or endowed gifts, major support, or a lifetime of giving. These individuals have made a commitment to investing in the future of the Four Oaks Enterprise and the children and families we serve.

Myron “Mike” Wilson has been a generous supporter of Four Oaks for more than 30 years and became an Oak Leaf Society member in 2010. For Mike and his wife, Esther, who recently passed, generosity and willingness to help others was a way of life. “Giving is a habit you grow into,” he said.

“We got connected with Four Oaks and, over the years, they really impressed us with the job they’re doing. As time goes on, Four Oaks is always modifying, picking up new aims, making more improvements and expanding,” Mike said. “It’s one thing to offer all these good things, but Four Oaks brought it all together to follow these kids as they grow up, to show success.”

Though Mike is modest about his contributions to his community, he is proud to share more about Esther’s involvement. “She did an awful lot for a lot of people but she was very quiet about it. She was very sharing,” he said. After she passed, many were surprised to learn that Esther was recognized with the United Way of East Central Iowa Community Philanthropist award in 2009, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Individual Philanthropist award in 2011, and the Five Seasons Citizenship Award in 2016. “I just had somebody say that they did not realize all she’d done,” said Mike.

Now 98 years old, Mike is living at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids, an assisted living community for seniors, and trying to find new ways to be involved. He said, “I’m trying to get back with the community. I can still get out but that’s not going to happen forever.”  He continues to advocate for Four Oaks to fellow residents and encourages them to become involved. “I think Four Oaks is doing a great job. I’m happy I could be a part of it. Even though Esther’s gone, I’m still interested in what more I can do.”

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