Special to The Hays Daily News

Insurance Planning Inc., 3006 Broadway, presented a gift of $20,000 to Heartland Community Foundation to establish the Fred and Jean Berger Insurance Planning, Inc. Charitable Fund.

The gift honors the Bergers who founded Insurance Planning in 1968. Brandon Prough, chairman of the Heartland Community Foundation board of directors, and Tammy McClellan, executive director, accepted the gift on behalf of the foundation.

The fund will be managed as a donor-advised fund of the local Heartland Community Foundation. This initial contribution includes the permanent endowed gift and additional funds to provide grants to local organizations and projects that directly support the senior population.

Prior to Berger's retirement from the agency, he devoted his time to working with seniors - primarily on long term care insurance needs.

In 1968 Berger borrowed $15,000, moved to Hays and started the insurance agency. His wife, Jean, worked side-by-side with him to build Insurance Planning into the company it is today. With locations in Great Bend and Russell, and its IPI Financial Services and AG PRO Crop Insurance divisions, Insurance Planning employs more than 50 staff serving clients statewide. The company is in its 46th year in business.

"Throughout all the years that Fred and Jean promoted and grew the agency, their kind hearts and selfless devotion to others helped many in the community, " Executive Vice President and Treasurer Andrew Rupp noted at the presentation.

Speaking on behalf of all the owners, Vice President Dale Chaffin said "It is fitting that as owners we honor Fred and Jean and allow his name and that of the agency to live on and provide help to others in need. We are pleased to establish this fund and honor Fred and Jean and the work that they so cherished," he said.

Family, friends and business associates can also make tax deductible charitable contributions to the fund payable to Heartland Community Foundation and designating "Fred & Jean Berger Insurance Planning Inc., Charitable Fund."

The Heartland Community Foundation serves as a conduit for charitable giving benefitting the Ellis, Rooks and Trego county areas. It provides a permanent source of charitable assets to meet both emerging and existing needs of the local communities it serves.

Initial grants from the Fred & Jean Berger Insurance Planning, Inc., Charitable fund will be made in the first quarter of 2015.