Morris Graves Foundation house & studio
© 2018 Morris Graves Foundation

Building the “Living Legacy at the Lake”

Over the years, the Morris Graves Foundation has been very fortunate to receive support from many wonderful, heart-felt individuals who have been retreat guests or who have been aware of the foundation’s work.  As it happened, none of these generous individuals was asked to donate; they simply saw the work being done and helped.  Each time we’ve received a check, we have been truly surprised and joy-filled!

We want to publicly acknowledge everyone who has ever made a donation, large or small, and offer our greatest gratitude!

Thank You!

2001 – 2018  A Brief History and the future of Building the “Living Legacy at The Lake”

Once the foundation was established, Robert Yarber assigned 100% of his financial inheritance (he received from Mr. Graves) directly to the foundation to provide for its operations, and as an endowment for its long-term care.  However, the original endowment was short of being able to support the actual costs of operations.

For over 22 years of operations, the Morris Graves Foundation has been able to function on a very lean budget because most of the labor to run it is volunteered.  Further, because the foundation is a private non-profit entity, it is not eligible for public grants, etc.

Today, Robert donates all of his labor to the retreat’s functions, and his wife, Desiree, works for a nominal administrative salary, and hosts retreats and workshops as a volunteer.  Though the foundation is paying for a weekly maintenance helper, acquiring additional professional help or replacing Robert’s or Desiree’s efforts isn’t financially possible.

There are 3 main areas of care:

  1. Preservation of Mr. Graves’ home, studio, buildings, and infrastructures;
  2. physical care of the Lake, road, forest, and trails; and
  3. professional administrative staff.

Recently, when Mr. Graves’ home, the “Ibsen Nelsen House,” turned 50 years old, we were freshly reminded that its long-term care will be in the forefront soon enough.  Over time, as Robert gently retires from his daily care of the estate, its physical upkeep will begin falling on younger shoulders.  And, while time seems to stand still at the Lake, eventually, running the retreat will pass to new eyes, new hearts, and new hands.

We are sharing with everyone that it’s time for the endowment to grow now so the foundation will have the means to pay for the retreat’s care in the nearing future.