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Upping the Ante to Celebrate 50—Bob and Virginia Bettle Celebrate a Half-Century at the Fair

For 50 years Bob Bettle has made sure to attend the Iowa State Fair, and his wife, Virginia, has shared this experience for 49 of those years.

While Virginia admits to enjoying the Fair, Bob is truly the avid fairgoer. Growing up in Waterloo, Bob attended the Cattle Congress as well as visited the Iowa State Fair. With no agricultural or farming background, Bob has always maintained a sincere dedication to the Fair and all it has to offer. He strongly believes in supporting Iowa youth and agricultural projects and does so by annually supporting the Sale of Champions. While at the Fair, Bob makes sure to get a foot-long hot dog and a supply of the delicious saltwater taffy that's so hard to find anywhere else. Having retired from a career with Wells Fargo, Bob is able to focus more on enjoying the Fair, as well as his passion for cars and TVs.

The Bettles have been involved with the Blue Ribbon Foundation since its inception in 1993 and have watched it grow into a successful organization that has restored dignity to the Fairgrounds. Bob and Virginia have primarily supported the Foundation's Fan Fair, 1854 Society and Jake's Club programs, as well as making general donations to the Rebuilding the Dream fund. They graciously give to the Foundation because of the value they see in the programs and events offered in support of the Iowa State Fair.

"Many people have money, but not many people give it away," Bob says.

Earlier this year, Bob contacted the Foundation to find out what the couple had donated over the years. They decided to donate $25,000 to increase their total contributions to $50,000, commemorating the 50 years Bob has attended the Fair. This generous donation was directed to the Blue Ribbon Foundation's endowment, ensuring a bright future for the Fairgrounds.

"The Iowa State Fair is the No. 1 attraction in Des Moines and the top agricultural attraction for the Midwest states," Bob says.

Because they enjoy the Fair and the opportunity it provides for families to come together, the Bettles are proud to be part of its future.

Bob and Virginia know that people come from across the nation to experience the Iowa State Fair, and Bob is pleased that he and Virginia can financially support the Blue Ribbon Foundation and such a grand Iowa tradition.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Blue Ribbon Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Blue Ribbon Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Blue Ribbon Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Blue Ribbon Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Blue Ribbon Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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