Impact Giving | Lifelong Engagement through Leadership

In this piece from Mountaineer magazine, retiring Board President and 30-year member Lorna Corrigan reflects on the positive impact The Mountaineers has made in her life, and the steps she's taken to ensure our organization will be equipped to provide outdoor recreation and conservation education for generations to come.
Bri Vanderlinden Bri Vanderlinden
Associate Director of Development
July 01, 2021

Over my last four years working for The Mountaineers, it has been a great honor to observe and learn from three amazing Board Presidents, each with their own unique abilities and unwavering commitment to the health of our organization. I may be biased in my admiration of strong women in leadership, but one president stands out as particularly inspiring to me. This spring we honored retiring Board President Lorna Corrigan, an accomplished attorney and 30-year member of the Everett Branch who recently completed her third and final year of presidential leadership.

If you’ve ever had the chance to talk with Lorna, you’ve likely noticed her poise, felt the magnetism of her passion, and been inspired by her sense of purpose. Lucky for us, Lorna has arranged for her contributions to far surpass her tenure in the presidential seat by including The Mountaineers in her estate plans. To celebrate her years of service and to learn more about why she chooses to give to The Mountaineers as a volunteer and a donor, I reached out and asked her to share more about what has moved her to give her time, talents, and treasure so generously.


Growing up in Mountaineers lodges

Lorna’s story begins with early childhood tales of weekends in Mountaineers lodges. As we spoke, she reminisced about a vibrant and active scene, spending the day on the Snoqualmie rope tow, her dad’s never-ending work on the cable bindings, meals and storytelling around the dinner table, and the evening programs with happy faces singing and dancing about the lodge.

“As a child I received the great benefit of growing up in an atmosphere of healthful activities in the outdoors, with friendships that created a second family for me. I am serious when I say people that we met through The Mountaineers are still family friends today.”

As Lorna describes it, her experiences through The Mountaineers changed her life in the most positive way, providing an education to safely experience our wild landscapes and inspiring action to protect the places we hold dear. Our community provided her the courage to explore in ways she didn’t think she could on her own, and provided leadership pathways, allowing her to give back to an organization that has given her so much.

Charting a path for the future

Over the years, Lorna has shared how proud she’s felt to be the president of an organization famous for volunteer-led outdoor activities, courses that teach lifelong skills, and creating personal connections with the places we enjoy. She is also continually inspired by the role Mountaineers Books plays in opening the eyes of the public to the natural beauty of our wild landscapes, encouraging readers to become advocates and protect public lands for generations to come. As she reflects on what she values most about being a member, it’s not just the technical expertise of our volunteers - the communal optimism and support for each other offers meaning as well. These are some of the many reasons Lorna has decided to plan for the future of The Mountaineers with a bequest in her will.

“At 65, I have started to think about how I can leave something behind for the community that has provided so much and will carry on the values that matter to me. I am confident that this organization will continue to be a relevant and important part of my life as I continue to age, and this is a major reason why I always want to be able to give back to The Mountaineers. That act of giving back is an integrated aspect of membership for me, and I trust The Mountaineers to take actions that will help to preserve our wild places and empower people to enjoy those places in a safe manner. It is important to my personal ethic to contribute somehow to the world, which is why I’ve chosen to leave a bequest to The Mountaineers.”

Creating her own legacy

Charitable bequests may sound like a complicated term, but it is simply a gift planned out in a will or trust. It is one of the easiest ways to support the mission of The Mountaineers, or any other organization you care about, and to make a lasting statement about what matters most to you. Some members have shared that they’d like to make a will, but they’re not sure where to start. Lorna kindly allowed me to ask her about the first time she set up her own.

“I made my first will when I was in my 30s. I lost my father when I was young and through that, learned firsthand what happens when someone passes away. As I thought about my own life, I wanted to be organized, knowing it would be easier and take some of the burden off of the people I love. I wanted to make sure that the things I wanted to happen would happen and the way to do that was to create an estate plan for myself.”

“Once you have your will completed, you feel like patting yourself on the back because you've done something that you want to have accomplished. You want to influence how your legacy will be created. And when you're done, you get to check that off your list and say, ‘Okay, I've got things in order for me and my loved ones.’ And to me, it's a great feeling to have done that for The Mountaineers.”

The sky’s the limit

Towards the end of our conversation, I appreciated knowing that Lorna’s time as a Mountaineers leader was not coming to an end; it would simply take on a new form. When I asked about what was next for her involvement as a volunteer, Lorna shared how she will continue to be engaged through the Board’s Litigation Committee. Inspired by the growing role of Equity & Inclusion within leadership development and recruitment, she's also recently agreed to join the Governance Committee and will continue to provide input to the Board and the organization at-large.

As far as what’s next on Lorna’s outdoor goals, she’s looking forward to recovering after an upcoming knee replacement before returning to more aggressive hiking and backcountry skiing. Before the next ski season, she’s planning on spending the summer exploring Idaho and Wyoming, where her family has a home. “I’d really like to explore the National Parks outside of Washington State. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been to Yosemite and there are also areas of Mt. Rainier I haven’t visited yet. The sky's the limit!”

Your Gift Matters

MAKE A BIG IMPACT WITH A FUTURE GIFT

When you include The Mountaineers in your estate plan, your generosity protects the future of outdoor education, conservation, and advocacy in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. If you’d like to make arrangements for a legacy gift but are not sure where to start, The Mountaineers has invested in a new resource for members just like you.

NEW - MOUNTAINEERS PLANNED GIVING WEBPAGE

Learn About Legacy Giving

Call us at (206) 521-6006 or email briv@mountaineers.org for additional information or to chat more about the different options for including The Mountaineers in your will or estate plan. 

The information included in this resource is not intended for tax or legal advice. Please consult with your professional advisor before making a gift.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, gifts made to The Mountaineers are 100% tax-deductible. The Mountaineers, Tax ID 27-3009280, is located at 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.


This article originally appeared in our Summer 2021 issue of Mountaineer Magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, visit our magazine archive.

Lead Image: Matt Vadnal, Evy Dudey, and Lorna Corrigan during the Hög Loppet ski tour on Blewett Pass in 2009