Friend’s Tragic Death Leads to Giving Fund

5/18/2016

By Justin Gensler
Vice President, Mortgage Lender, NMLS #611367

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My lifelong friend Broc Winn was an incredibly gifted athlete who played with determination and leadership.

He was also an extremely loyal friend with a protective instinct for those he cared about. There are many instances I can recall when Broc would abandon what he was doing or drive hours out of his way so that he could be present to help someone else.

Today, my friends and I are continuing to live out Broc’s name in the best way we know how to honor him: by helping and giving back to others.

Broc passed away in October 2014, leading us to establish a giving fund in his memory. Since officially forming the Broc Winn Memorial Fund in July 2015, we have donated more than $4,000 in Broc’s name.

Other founding board members of the fund include: Wil Maxey, Shane Wasiloski, Aaron Weaver, Brent Wilson, Andy Pollock, Jordan Donaldson, Ian Harp, and Patrick Flynn. Together, we have become dedicated to making a bigger difference for the causes we know Broc would want us to assist.

Our major annual fundraiser has become a golf outing, which will be held this year on July 30 at Ironhorse in Tuscola. The four-person scramble includes lunch, with appetizers and a cocktail hour held after the outing. (Please contact me at jgensler@illinoisnationalbank.com if you’re interested in contributing or registering a team.)

Because of the success of our first golf outing in 2015 and the generosity of participants, we have been able to start making gifts in our local community. We have begun to award a $1,000 scholarship to a senior football player from Tuscola High School. We accept applications and conduct interviews with the football coach so that we have a better understanding of that player’s leadership and values. We made our first award May 13.

We know there are always people who need help, so we are continuing to discuss and narrow our focus on our mission and what causes truly embody Broc. In the past year, we’ve donated hams at Christmas for needy families in Tuscola, and we’ve aided local people with health issues needing funding for equipment or travel costs.

My hope for the Broc Winn Memorial Fund is not only honor him and foster the values Broc held within the younger generation, but to truly make a difference in the lives of others in our community so that his legacy will continue to inspire others in the same way that he always inspired those around him.

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