John and Bonnie Latzer, lifelong Parsonians, have pledged $100,000 to support the next phase in Labette Community College Foundation’s Pathways to the Future Capital Campaign. The gift will help the college renovate and expand the athletic facilities to meet the needs of students and better serve the community.
The Latzers have called Parsons home since they were newlyweds over 50 years ago.
“Parsons is, by choice, our forever home. We are here to stay, and so is the college,” Bonnie Latzer said.
The Latzers have a long-standing tradition of support for LCC students. In addition to supporting the Pathways to the Future Capital Campaign to construct the new health science building, the Latzers created the Latzer Art Award, an endowment through the Parsons Area Community Foundation in partnership with the LCC Foundation. The Latzer Art Award is presented twice a year to LCC students who display promise in the fine arts realm. The couple’s passion for the arts is recognized through an art display case and plaque in the Reese H. Hughes Arts & Humanities building on the main campus.
“As a couple we are driven by the arts, not athletics. Even so, athletics are an important part of the complete college experience. Athletics, just like in fine arts, are where lifelong connections are made and scholarships are offered to students to create an opportunity to complete their degree,” John Latzer said.
The Latzers have been a part of the Parsons community for over five decades and have a strong desire for the community to be successful. John Latzer said they view Labette Health and the college as the two core institutions of Parsons.
“The college and the hospital are the heartbeat of the entire community and vital to economic development. If we lose one, we could lose our community. The college brings out-of-state students to our community through health care programs, athletics and the arts. Their families come to town to shop, eat and stay in our hotels,” John Latzer said.
“This expansion and renovation will allow the college to grow and be a welcome facility to our athletic competitors. Better facilities may attract more students, which is a driver of the community,” he said. “This capital campaign project is important.”
Bonnie Latzer said the college is close to meeting the goal of the campaign, and the couple felt strongly about doing their part in helping it succeed.
“We believe it will succeed, and we invite others to join in giving,” she said.
Lindi Forbes, executive director of the LCC Foundation, said the college is extremely grateful for the pledge from the Latzers.
“They have shown time and time again how much they believe in Labette Community College and what we do for our students and the broader community. It is an inspiration to us all,” Forbes said. “We have received gifts from over 600 individuals, businesses and foundations thus far, which demonstrates the worthiness of our project.”
Private support for LCC’s capital campaign can come through outright gifts of cash, bequests, life insurance policies, gifts of real estate and other giving mechanisms. Individuals or businesses can choose to give in a variety of ways, even to spread out payments up to five years. This makes the giving capacity larger and more feasible for more people.
The support from the Latzers will also help the LCC Foundation meet a $500,000 Mabee Challenge Grant requirement. The campaign has raised $5,153,360 for capital, which includes the Mabee Grant.
LCC must raise $576,540 by Jan. 14, 2021, to earn the grant from the Mabee Foundation of Midland, Texas, and complete the fundraising goal. LCC capital campaign donations can be made on the website at www.labette.edu/foundation/index.html or with a check made payable to: LCC Foundation, 200 S. 14th Street Parsons, KS 67357. All donations are tax deductible.