In 2014, longtime APHA member Jerry Baker of Bandera, Texas, set the philanthropic bar high when he and a family foundation honoring his late wife Rebecca combined to make the single largest private donation—$168,000—to the American Paint Horse Foundation. The APHF is the charitable arm of the American Paint Horse Association.
That generous gift created the Rebecca Baker Youth World Show Endowment in honor of Jerry’s wife, Rebecca Sue Harrison Baker, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010. One of Rebecca’s long passions was breeding, riding and showing Paint Horses in local, state and national competition.
For the past three years, Rebecca’s Foundation, the Baker family foundation, administered by Jerry and Rebecca’s daughter Heidi Baker Wyatt, has continued to make annual gifts to the APHF’s Rebecca Baker Youth World Show Endowment.
“We like giving to the APHF to promote Paint Horses, help provide an education to those who might not be able to afford college, and reward those who work so hard throughout the year with their Paints,” said Heidi.
In December 2017, Jerry made another substantial private donation bringing the endowment’s total to $274,00. It is the largest single endowment held by the American Paint Horse Foundation.
“My wife loved this quote by Mae West: ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’ Rebecca would love the legacy her endowment is creating,” Jerry said.
Since 2015, the Rebecca Baker endowment has underwritten four scholarships each in three reining classes at the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show, APHA’s all-scholarship horse show held each summer in Fort Worth, Texas. The added funds will allow the endowment to underwrite the scholarships for six classes at all future Youth World Championship Shows, beginning in 2018—that’s a total of 24 separate scholarship opportunities totaling $7,800 annually.
For more information about charitable gifts or how to underwrite the scholarships for a Youth World Show class, contact Laura Jesberg or call (817) 222-6412.
[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.