CFO Stories

Donor Profile: Freddie & Melissa Young

Connected by a unique sport and an appreciation for youth athletics, Melissa and Freddie Young wasted no time in planning their legacy.

Leading Through Legacy

Off to a Fast Start

With blazing pace, long strides and a blur of wheels, roller speedskating might be an exciting sport for young athletes to try — without even considering its potential to positively influence their lives for the long term.

Freddie Young’s inline skates — funded by a generous coach who saw his potential — carried him out of a rough neighborhood in Las Vegas and on to international competitions.

“My parents couldn’t afford for me to skate. They couldn’t afford for me to travel. They couldn’t afford for me to participate in the sport at all,” Freddie says. “I was blessed to have a coach — Larry Sanford at the Crystal Palace Skating Center — who saw talent in me or saw that he could help someone. So, he funded my travel. He funded my equipment and kept me in the skating rink for hours upon end instead of being on the streets, instead of being in trouble.”

Meanwhile, Melissa Young’s quads took her from the old Skateport rink in Springfield to an event in Texas where the two crossed paths as teenagers. They kept in touch and eventually married, started a family and settled in Nixa.

Both credit youth sports for paving the smooth path ahead of their younger selves. So when the two discussed establishing a legacy fund with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Nixa Community Foundation, deciding what that fund might benefit was clear.

“We talked about things we care about, we kept circling back to youth and athletics,” Freddie says. “Our fund is geared towards helping unprivileged youth, because I always felt like sports with something that saved me and kept me from going on a path that probably wasn’t going to be the best.”

“It’s easy to recognize, with our kids being so involved in sports, that if they need a pair of cleats, we can run to Academy and get a pair of cleats,” Melissa says of their three kids. “For some kids, they’re not that fortunate.”

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Melissa and Freddie Young established a field-of-interest fund to support access to athletics for underprivileged youth that will be funded with a planned charitable gift.

“Maybe Nixa, Missouri, isn’t Charleston Heights in Las Vegas, Nevada. But without sports, there’s no telling where my kids might be or what they might be into or the friends they might be hanging out with,” adds Freddie. “So, having the ability to give a gift to someone who might be able to find refuge in sports or athletics — I think it’s critical, I think it’s important.”

While that gift won’t be made until after the Youngs pass, they already have a plan in place. The Freddie and Melissa Young Family Fund is a field-of-interest fund to support participation in athletics for low-income and underprivileged youth in Nixa, and the Youngs appreciate the flexibility the fund offers now that it is in place.

“We realized that as time changes, we maybe detail that out even more, or maybe our focus changes from athletics to a specific sport,” Freddie says.

“A big part of our decision to go this route is because we do have the option,” Melissa adds. “In the future, if our passion changes, we can always change that as well.”

With Freddie working as a CPA with KPM CPAs & Advisors and Melissa as a director with the local Compassus office, a national hospice and palliative care organization, perhaps it’s no surprise that the two were ready to commit to making a legacy gift at a relatively young age. Freddie also serves on the advisory board for the Nixa Community Foundation and both are members of the Legacy Society.

“The legacy isn’t about me,” Freddie says. “It’s about the future. If our little chunk helps the future then, man, that’s pretty cool.”

By Aaron Scott · Originally published in the CFO’s Annual Report FY21.

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