Karel Weigel—IRA

Giving With Passion

Karel Weigel

One of Karel's favorite quotes:
"In wilderness is preservation of the world." —Henry David Thoreau

Ever wonder about the impact you have on our world? Karel Weigel thinks about it a lot and has taken steps to make sure her impact is a positive one.

A respected leader in the Rochester community, Karel has been very active with the Rochester Area Foundation and served as the Rotary district governor from 2014 to 2015. From 2005 to 2013, she served on the Minnesota Zoo Board. With a background in biology, her passion for science made the Zoo a perfect fit.

"The natural sciences gave me an appreciation for the interconnectedness that plants, animals and all of us share," she says. "This fascinates me and is critically important to understanding ourselves."

A believer in education and conservation, Karel appreciates how the Minnesota Zoo teaches visitors about their world and the importance of conservation. "The Zoo illustrates how human activities affect the world. These lessons help us understand our personal responsibility."

Karel's desire to better the future for all of us inspired her to include the Minnesota Zoo Foundation in her estate plans.

"I have made the Zoo Foundation a beneficiary of my individual retirement account (IRA)." This gift qualifies Karel as a member of the Circle of Life Society, which recognizes those that have includedthe Minnesota Zoo Foundation in their estate plans.

Karel has retired from her position as administrator of community relations at Mayo Clinic. Now that she has reached the age that requires her to take a mandatory minimum distributions from her IRA, her financial advisor gave her a tax wise suggestion.

When Karel makes her annual gift to the Zoo Foundation, she makes it directly from her IRA as part of her minimum required distribution. Making her gift this way means she does not pay taxes on the gift amount and neither does the Foundation, so she is able to—in effect—make a larger contribution to the Zoo Foundation than would be possible with an outright gift.

"It's just a smarter way to give and make your gift do more," Karel says. "I do not have any children, but I can do something to help other people's children, now and in the future. Some people ask, 'What can I do, I'm just one person?' but many gifts together can create a lasting impact."

If you would like to learn how you can make a similar gift to the one Karel made, please contact Amalie Frankel at 651.539.6518 or Amalie.Frankel@mnzoo.org to get started.