LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - La Crosse native Barbara Schroeder left all of her estate to local charities, including more than $170,000 to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.
The Foundation said it's the largest estate gift it's received.
Schroeder was a 1968 Central High School graduate and attended UW-La Crosse. She was the daughter of Edie and Russ Schroeder, a well-known auctioneer in the Coulee Region. She worked for several organizations, including 15 years at Viterbo University where she coordinated the tutoring program and worked in the Academic Resource Center until her retirement in November 2013.
Schroeder's friends described her as funny, a jokester who loved traveling, reading, birding and railroads. She died Feb. 21, 2014.
While the bequest came without any specific direction, the Board of Directors of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation has chosen to deposit the funds in an agency fund. The Foundation said the intention of the fund is to use proceeds annually to support its mission to "enhance learning opportunities for students in the School District of La Crosse" and promote community understanding and support of public education.
"Barbara may have preferred to avoid the spotlight, but she deserves credit for a gift that will have a lasting impact on La Crosse public schools," said David Stoeffler, executive director of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. "We'll be forever grateful for the concern she showed for the future of our children."
In 2015, the Foundation expects to provide more than $150,000 in support to district schools, through classroom grants, support for staff development and programs to meet needs of individual students and help them overcome barriers to success, including poverty-related issues.
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