Personal Donor Stories

We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.

Most Worthy Organization

Larry Mack and his wife Jane were both born and raised in Michigan. Larry became an engineering professor at the University of Texas-Austin. Jane taught first grade for 15 years after her youngest child started kindergarten.

The Macks took their four children camping in the national parks almost every summer when they were growing up. Although they don't visit the parks as often now that their children are grown, the Macks still manage an occasional outing: Larry enjoys climbing and Jane photographs the beauty of the parks.

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Helping NPCA Accomplish its Mission

When Bob Glasser became a member of NPCA in the 1950's, it was still called NPA (National Parks Association) At the time, there were 16 National Parks in 11 Western states. From 1953 to 1957, Bob visited all 16 on his summer vacations, enjoying the beautiful scenery and taking photographs so he could give slide shows for his friends back home. "I gave the parks a lot of good publicity," he said.

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Personal Commitment Prompts Gift to NPCA

Glade Koch’s late husband, John, was a U.S. patent attorney with the Atomic Energy Commission, now known as the Department of Energy. It was while John was posted in Nevada that Glade fell in love with the Grand Canyon National Park. "We were able to visit Grand Canyon often," recalls Glade, a retired elementary school teacher. "I found the canyon’s geological features fascinating!" Her fondest memory is of a rafting trip on the Colorado River that took them down the length of Grand Canyon to Lake Mead.

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Supporting an ‘Irreplaceable Treasure’

Some of John Will’s favorite memories recall the wild wondrous beauty of our national parks—the deep blue sky behind Clingman’s Dome during a childhood vacation to the Smoky Mountains, coming across a doe and her fawns grazing by a stream on the trail to Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains, a Christmastime snowfall in one of Zion’s many canyons. He was eager to share similar outdoor experiences with his wife Han, whom he met during a church-sponsored work program in her native Netherlands some 50 years ago, their two children and, later, their four grandchildren.

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Park Enthusiast Makes ‘Excellent’ Gift

As a young boy growing up in Massachusetts, Skip Warren enjoyed his family’s travel stories. In 1937, some of them had traveled coast-to-coast by car, visiting several national parks along the way.

"We went to several national parks in the East when I was a boy," he recalled, "but I really yearned to see the big Western parks." Working on his family’s farm near Boston and, later, as an agent in the family-owned insurance firm, Skip didn’t have much time for yearning or travel. He now lives on that same farm, the sixth generation to do so since 1782, where he raises sheep and lambs. These days, Skip is able to visit at least two national parks a year, preferring to go in winter when visitors are few. His list so far includes 20 national monuments and wildlife refuges and 30 national parks.

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Longtime Activist Plans Bequest

John Case might well have been born with the national parks gene. John’s family has been involved in natural resource management since 1874. His great-grandfather was a partner of James J. Hill, the pioneer who built the Great Northern Railway, and Louis Hill, who developed the historic lodges in Glacier National Park. It was his parents and grandparents who helped instill a love for the national parks system in John, which in turn led John to become a member of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) when he was a junior in high school.

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Former Ranger Remembers NPCA

Dave Packer never grumbles about having to go into the office. That’s because his "office" is the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreational Area, a 26,000-acre natural wonder that sprawls across parts of New York and New Jersey. Does he realize how fortunate he is? Absolutely.

"I visit a national park every day!" says Dave, a marine biologist with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service. Growing up in Euclid, Ohio, Dave never got the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and splendor of our National Park System.

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Donor Profile: Don and Mary McWhirter

Don and Mary McWhirter of Issaquah, Washington, have been supporting NPCA since the 1970s. They learned about the organization during one of their yearly visits to a national park. Living in Alaska for almost 20 years gave the McWhirters the opportunity to visit many of the national parks there, including Denali, Glacier Bay, and Kenai Fjords. "Alaska’s national parks are unique, and the opportunity we have had to enjoy them has made us realize the need to do what we can to preserve them."

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