Watters Foundation

Lions 19-B

Watters Charitable Trust, Inc.

The Mission of the Watters Trust is to provide financial assistance to District “B” Lions Clubs for special projects, which are not recognized by other foundations.

Any District Lions Club may request funds from the Trust.  The maximum amount available for any individual request is $1500.00

If you request, and receive funds, the Trust requires written reports stating the START, PROGRESS, and COMPLETION of the project.

You may send your request by email to: watters@Lions19B.com or via snail mail to:  Watters Charitable Trust,  c/o Nancy Sorensen, 860 SW 143rd Street, Seattle, WA 98166


Watters Charitable Trust
Downloadable Forms:

Donation Request Form

Project Report Form

Watters Trust Policy

Watters Trust Info

Watters Charitable Trust

The True History

Lion Harry Watters was a Charter Member of the Queen Anne-Magnolia Lions Club, which chartered in 1945.  At that time, he was also the Publisher of the Queen Anne Herald, a very complete neighborhood newspaper with excellent circulation.  As a result of his business interests and involvements, Harry owned a number of buildings in downtown Seattle.  He was a Life Member of his club and remained active until he passed away in 1992.  In his will, he left the Lions of District B three of those buildings and the disposition of those buildings became the responsibility of 1992-93 DG Glenn Rose of the Des Moines Lions Club.

DG Glenn worked diligently to turn the buildings into cash and was eventually successful in liquidating all three, but it took several years.  As each building was sold, the money received was deposited in the account of the District B Hearing Foundation, which held it in escrow for the district until all transactions were completed.  Glenn was PDG for two years before this was accomplished and he then handed the responsibility to DG John Wojahn (Everett Central) in 1996.  The three buildings were sold for $110,000 (plus or minus a few pennies). 

DG John was very concerned with what he considered the “proper” distribution of the funds to District B Clubs.  We (PCC Jim Knight and Cabinet Secretary in 96-97) had many discussions with various Lions to get ideas to present at the first District Cabinet Meeting, but none seemed to satisfy his goals.  Eventually he decided that we must establish a new Foundation that would be in a position to distribute funds to the clubs, thereby making use of the money open and available to all.

The next step was the campaign to convince the clubs to accept the Foundation approach.  Obviously, since the money was left to the District, not the District Governor to do with as only he desired, we put together a “pitch” and went on the road to all the clubs in the district prior to the second cabinet meeting.  The proposal was to establish a Foundation that would provide some funds to any club for community type projects not covered by any other Foundation.  For example, an issue with sight or hearing, since we already have Foundations working on those situations.  It took a lot of travelling and talking but in the end, we had enough for a positive vote at the second cabinet meeting.

The final step was for DG John to write the porposal to the IRS and for us to gain 501c3 status.  His first two tries were rejected but on the third attempt we were granted the title of a “Charitable Trust” with IRS recognition and have operated in that fashion since 1997.  The money was recovered from the Hearing Foundation and invested for us by a firm in Bellevue which has been very efficient with our money.  There was a downturn when the economy went crazzy a few years ago, but our recovery was outstanding.

The rules for access to Trust funds are simple.  We intend to retain a corpus of $100,000 and the interest and assets above that amount are available to distribute.  Any club can request up to $1500 for a project that meets the requirements and it will be approved or rejected by the Trust Board of Directors.  Application forms and data are available on the District B website or from Lion Nancy Sorensen, Secretary. 

PCC Jim Knight