Donors Honor Grandson with their Gift
“Our oldest grandson, Tim Boeshaar, recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a fine arts degree focused on theatrical lighting design,” Esther shared. “We are very proud of him and impressed by how his involvement in the arts has provided such an excellent education and broad view of the world.” The Giffins named lighting components in the Helzberg Hall in Tim’s honor.
As a retired partner at Spencer Fane Britt and Browne, L.L.P., Don is part of a firm that has enjoyed a downtown presence since 1952. Don and Esther feel that an excellent performing arts center is a much-needed component of the reviving downtown, even though their personal philanthropy tends to focus more on social services.
“In our travels to France, particularly,” Esther shares, “I got a strong feeling about the importance of the arts to a community. We are molded and shaped as people, in a good way, by art galleries and fine performances.”
The Giffins’ support for the Kauffman Center is also spurred by their admiration for Julia Irene Kauffman. Esther shared, “What Julia Irene has done for our community is amazing to me. I like to support people like her, who take initiative and get things done.”
Spencer Fane has been incredibly supportive of the Kauffman Foundation. In June 2006, the firm made a $100,000 contribution and challenged other law firms to do the same. In a Kansas City Star article about their gift, managing partner Mike Saunders explained why a law firm cares about the cultural life of the community. “In our recruiting efforts, whether we are trying to convince an out-of-towner to move to Kansas City or a local star to stay, one criterion is consistent among them. They demand a vibrant and creative cultural community. This is true for any business striving for high-quality employees.”
Building on the firm’s pledge, former partner Bob Lyons called together the 10 or 12 retired partners and encouraged them to make individual gifts, above and beyond that of the firm. “He didn’t exactly twist arms,” Don deadpans, “but Bob was very convincing.”
After learning about the Giffin’s interest and their grandson’s arts background, Jane Chu called and invited them to see the acoustical model. “Tim could have stayed there all day asking questions and chatting with the model builders,” Esther shared. Like most visitors to this precise one-tenth scale replica, Tim was floored by the attention to detail that has gone into the Kauffman Center. “He can hardly wait to get inside the halls,” Esther shared, and added, “and neither can we.” And when the lights come up Tim will have a very special connection with the Kauffman Center.