Donor Profile: Peter Hendrickson and Nancy Temkin

Peter and Nancy give with the hope of making a difference in kids’ lives – especially minority youth and hopefully families. “We’d like them to experience some of the same joy we find on the water, along a long trail, and high in the mountains. And we’d like them to discover in themselves the strength and skills to prevail in difficult circumstances.”
Mary Hsue Mary Hsue
April 16, 2014

It's 8pm on a rainy Monday night. The perfect time to be indoors for a Basic Navigation Workshop. A record 90 students have shown up to learn navigation skills from 34 volunteers. And overseeing it all is Peter Hendrickson, Navigation Committee Chair. Walking between tables, quietly observing and stopping to course correct a student, or provide words of encouragement, Hendrickson is in his element.

This reads like an opening for a volunteer spotlight, but it’s so much more. Peter and his wife, Nancy Temkin, are both volunteers and donors. Did I mention that Nancy was there supporting Peter as one of his instructors? Lovely wife AND wonderful husband as Peter supports Nancy by reviewing and editing her research papers. Peter has joined her as a volunteer Traumatic Brain Injury researcher on a long-term Latin American study.

Peter was introduced to the outdoors at an early age through the Boy Scouts. He advanced through the ranks to achieve his Eagle Scout award. “Scouting grows outdoors leaders and lifelong conservationists,” the former Scoutmaster noted. Nancy’s experience in the mountains began in the Colorado Rockies during a post-doctorate position and she joined The Mountaineers with her late husband in the 70’s.

They are both Scramble, MOFA and Navigation graduates who enjoy long-distance treks, scrambles and Nordic skiing in the Cascades, Alps, Andes and across the world. They paddle and sail in the Puget Sound and New England. “If we’re not in the garden or pasture, we’re likely near Snoqualmie Pass.”

Nearly 60 years of volunteering introduced Peter to wonderful folks — fellow volunteers and those he has volunteered for. “There have been terrific opportunities to lead, to follow and to learn.” He goes on to say, “I can’t imagine a life without service.” Nancy was introduced to volunteering early in life. “It’s a natural thing to do,” she says. “Working with the Mountaineers and introducing people to new skills is a real pleasure.”

Peter turned 70½ in 2013 and chose to make a qualified charitable distribution to satisfy a required minimum distribution from his IRA. “Nancy and I put a lot of thought into which organizations we would support and if we would do the most good by investing the total distribution or splitting the contribution,” he said. “We chose to support youth programs at The Mountaineers because I’ve worked with kids most of my life and many of our children teach or serve kids and their families from diverse communities.”

Peter and Nancy are particularly concerned about the children who don’t or can’t find their way beyond tough circumstances. Peter says, “The Mountaineers is making a tremendous effort to engage with underserved, minority youth populations. The unique quality of these programs provides youth with challenging experiences that inspire growth.” They make a point of supporting a few organizations every year, including several social and humanitarian agencies, religious organizations, and the Brain Injury Association of Washington, but this is the largest gift they have ever made.

Peter and Nancy give with the hope of making a difference in kids’ lives – especially minority youth and hopefully families. “We’d like them to experience some of the same joy we find on the water, along a long trail, and high in the mountains. And we’d like them to discover in themselves the strength and skills to prevail in difficult circumstances.” Having lived and worked all over the world, they find that, “The Pacific Northwest is without equal in the range of outdoor pursuits and they should be open to the wider community.” With their gifts of time and generous financial contributions, Peter and Nancy are helping The Mountaineers do just that. And we are truly grateful.