While many have been able to profit by leasing their land to gas companies for drilling, one 96-year-old local man has decided to give back to the community his windfall through a fund to support the many youth services and programs in the area.
Bernard Bredbenner Sr. recently set up the $100,000 fund through the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania in memory of his late wife, Eva.
As he explained, he was able to fund the gift through an income he recently received because of a gas-drilling lease from a property that he shares with a group for a hunting and fishing club cabin. The property has seven wells on it and Bredbenner receives a percentage of the profits from the lease.
"We got some money so we're going to put it out where it belongs," Bredbenner said on why he chose to set up the fund.
Bredbenner said he and his family have given to many organizations throughout his life and always look to help the youth of the area, which is why he decided to set up the fund to help youth programs in Lycoming, Columbia and Montour counties.
The Bredbenner family has supported organizations such as STEP Inc. and the Janet Weis Children's Hospital. As Bredbenner put it: "Kids need help."
The main aspect of the fund that attracted Bredbenner to setting it up through the foundation is the fact that it will continue to provide to the area well into the future, and gifts will be generated by way of fund income. It will be a continuous funding source rather than a one-and-done donation, he said.
"One reason I wanted to do it is, they keep the money, they don't spend it all," Bredbenner said.
After setting up the fund, Bredbenner said he wished he had known about the foundation previously so he could have done more with it.
Bredbenner said he would encourage others to set up funds as it's a better way to use money than to let it sit around.
"If people have money that they're never going to use, put it in a place (with an organization) that stays put and spends the interest off it," he said.