Three Silver City not-for-profit organizations recently benefitted from a charitable remainder
trust fund of more than $280,000. The trust fund was established by long-time Silver City
residents John A, (Jack) and Arley Reece 20 years ago, with the interest going to family
members for 20 years, and the remaining capital to then be divided among four entities upon
the trust fund’s maturity.
The three New Mexico beneficiaries are:
The Western New Mexico University Foundation, which has had a John and Arley Reece
Scholarship program in place since 2005 that has awarded dozens of scholarships over
the years in the fields of nursing, criminal justice, education and social sciences, will now
be able to support even more students over a longer period of time and use this
endowment to provide a continuing legacy of educational support.
The Boy Scouts of America Yucca Council, which serves Southwest New Mexico, is using
the funds it is receiving to start an endowment fund that will benefit local youngsters.
Rotary International, where half the trust fund monies will go to Rotary’s international
projects like eradicating polio and bringing clean water to remote villages in third world
countries, and the other half will go to Rotary’s 5520 District, serving all of New Mexico
and eight counties in Western Texas, where it will be used as matching funds for local
Rotary Club projects.
The fourth recipient of the Reece’s trust fund is the Shriners Hospital for Children, a
network of 22 nonprofit medical facilities across North America, where children with
orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lips and palates are eligible for
care and can receive all services regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
“Leave it to Mom and Dad to find ways to help support projects they believed in on an
ongoing basis,” says Kathy Eaton, one of the two Reece daughters. She notes her father is a
self-made man who had to drop out of high school to help support his mother. He went on
to become manager of a number of Skaggs Drugstores throughout the Western United
States, retiring to Silver City in 1984.
Jack was known in Silver City as the Jesus Plaque man and the Can Man because of his two
main retirement projects. Jack created more than 40,000 small Jesus plaques which he sold for
$2 each, giving the resulting funds to the Jack and Arley Reece Scholarship Fund at WNMU.
And he encouraged his fellow Rotary Club members to bring him all their aluminum cans which
he then turned in to recycling centers, giving the resulting funds to Habitat for Humanity.