Boise State Public Radio announced it recieved the largest gift in station history – $1.1 million.
The money came from the estate of Charles and Lorraine Childers, according to an email sent to members Thursday morning. Lorraine passed away in 2015, and Charles died last year according to obituary information.
Charles Childers grew up on a Nampa dairy farm, served in the US Army in Korean and, worked for Idaho Power for his entire career. Lorraine Lyklama Childers grew up in Meridian, went to nursing school, and served as an RN in Oakland, Sun Valley, the US Virgin Islands, and Boise.
The station said the Childers donated about $500 to BSPR during their lifetimes, but Charles’ will left money to several charities – including the $1.1 million for Boise State Public Radio. BSPR said the gift would “serve as the beginning of the transformation of local journalism in our region.”
The gift will allow the station to start “The Endowment for Local News,” which it hopes will provide an ongoing source of funds as well as allow other donors to impact the station’s coverage of local news. BSPR says it will take a distribution of about 4% from the endowment each year and will invest the rest of the money.
Boise State Public Radio, like BoiseDev, is one of about a dozen news outlets serving the Boise area. It also serves a wider geographic footprint including areas surrounding McCall, Sun Valley and Twin Falls where it has transmitters.
Disclosure: BoiseDev occasionally shares content with BSPR, and our reporters appear on the station’s Idaho Matters program.