Earl Swanson met Janice Beckstrom in the elevator at Mumford Hall. The year was 1950, and coffee wasn't available in the Department of Agricultural Economics on the University of Illinois campus.
"Coffee brought us together," Janice, who goes by Becky (a nickname created from her last name), explains. "We literally had to get in our cars and drive somewhere for coffee. Earl and I were both heading for coffee when we met." It was love at first sight.
Within months, Earl proposed to Becky and they were married. But wartime interrupted their first year of wedded bliss, and Earl and his new bride moved to Washington, DC. Their first child, Paul, was born at Fort Belvoire in 1952. When Becky learned her family would soon return to Champaign, she asked for the name of a local pediatrician.
And that's where the Swanson's connection to Carle begins: the Swanson family was referred to Dr. James Corbett at Carle Clinic. In the years that followed, the Swansons welcomed a daughter, Ann, and another son, Rolf. Both were born at Carle.
Now, some 55 years after that first encounter with Dr. Corbett, the Swansons are honoring the great they receive at Carle. "We practically know the whole hospital staff just between the two of us," Becky jokes, noting she and Earl are members of the Carle Auxiliary.
Because of their connections to Carle, the Swansons decided to establish a charitable gift annuity through The Carle Development Foundation. This gift not only benefits Carle, but also Earl and Becky. They simply created a gift annuity contract funded with a cash gift to Carle in exchange for a current income tax deduction and Carle's promise to make fixed annual payments to them for life.
"We made our gift in awareness of all the careful, compassionate and competent care our family has received at Carle over the years," Earl and Becky insist. "Once our kids were independent, we knew we could and should start doing something as a small thank you."