Laying the Foundation

Minoo and Rick Spellerberg believe you always have something to give, but when the couple’s daughter- in-law, Jesse, was diagnosed with brain cancer, the power of community and generosity became more apparent than ever to the Spellerberg family.

"As Jesse battled cancer, we were surrounded by everyone who wanted to help; we weren’t alone,” shared Minoo.

After a two-year battle, Jesse passed away in 2020 leaving behind her husband, Mosa, and their two young sons. As the family grieved the devastating loss, they considered how they could honor Jesse’s legacy.

Minoo soon realized the foundation had already been laid. “Prior to the diagnosis, Jesse and Mosa had begun building their family home next to our house here in Prole. Mosa no longer wanted to call the house home, and we knew it had an even greater purpose,” said Minoo.

The Spellerbergs along with Jesse’s mother, Beth Johnston, began plans to turn the home into the Jesse J. Sanctuary: A hideaway amongst nature for cancer patients and their families to stay free of charge. “Giving was a huge part of who Jesse was. We know she would be proud,” shared Beth.

As the Jesse J. Sanctuary came to life, the Spellerbergs found another way to grow their giving using an asset they already held. The Spellerbergs made a gift of stock to open a charitable giving fund at the Community Foundation. It provided a tax-wise way for the couple to support the Sanctuary and other causes they care about into the future.

“When we found out we could give stock to support our giving through the Community Foundation, it just made sense,” shared Rick. “Working with the Community Foundation to facilitate the gift was simple,” added Minoo. “We want to be sure we’re doing everything we can to focus on what matters most – helping those facing what our son and daughter-in-law went through. We want to show up for others as so many have shown up for us.”