The money, which will be donated in gifts of $20,000 over each of the next five years, goes to the Robeson County Community Foundation, which will use endowments to establish revenue streams for nonprofits across the county. In case you don't know, an endowment uses the power of investment to generate revenue while protecting the initial investment - meaning BB&T's gift will fuel good work for generations to come.
Perhaps more than any other individual, MacLean helped map Robeson County's course during the second half of the 20th century. As a banker, he promoted economic development by loaning residents and businesses money. As a politician, he helped move the original route of Interstate 95 farther east and through Robeson County, therefore paving the way for the tourism industry that is so vital to our economy today. As a civic leader, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Robeson County chapter of the United Way.
We could go on, but will stop here, the point having been made.
With BB&T's gift, the foundation, only established in May, now has about $200,000. Jimmy Byrne, president of the foundation's board, said he believes that figure could grow to as much as $750,000 by the end of the year. Assuming a rate of return of 6 percent, that would generate $45,000 a year for nonprofits without touching the initial investment.
BB&T has once again demonstrated that it was serious when it promised upon its merger with Southern National Bank that its commitment Robeson County would remain strong.
If you would like to follow BB&T's lead, a tax-deductible gift should be made payable to the Robeson County Community Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 1590, Lumberton, N.C. 28359. For information, call (877) 815-2617.