Bill Corrigan has a lot to be proud of. He’s raised a family. He spent years running a successful business, Wilcor International. He’s tirelessly volunteered his time and talents to local civic organizations. Through it all, he’s gained the respect and admiration of his friends, colleagues, and the community at large. But one of the things Bill cherishes most is the personal satisfaction he gets from supporting the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In fact, Bill believes so strongly in CABVI’s mission that he’s decided to make a lasting gift to the agency by becoming a member of the CABVI Legacy Society.
Bill first discovered CABVI more than 40 years ago when he was a member of the Utica Lions Club. The club often hosted parties and special activities for CABVI employees and consumers. Providing entertainment at these events gave Bill an opportunity to showcase his sunny, playful personality. During Lions Club performances, “I was usually the character,” he says. “I was the clown, if you want to call it that. I had a lot of fun doing it. And because of that, I became more and more excited about CABVI and realized how wonderful they are and the great things they’re doing for our community.”
As time went on and Bill became more familiar with CABVI, he was surprised by the agency’s constant growth. His fascination continues today. “It seems like every year they get bigger and better,” he says. “They’re always adding something new.” And with every new employment and rehabilitation opportunity CABVI adds, more and more blind and visually impaired people are positively impacted. “They teach them to adapt,” Bill says. “They teach them a trade, and they give them the opportunity to do it and prove that they can do it. I think it makes a major difference if you can take care of yourself instead of somebody taking care of you. I think it makes (CABVI employees and consumers) more proud of themselves and their lives. And that’s something the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired does for lots of people.”
CABVI’s commitment to providing its employees and consumers with opportunities for personal fulfillment is what convinced Bill to support the agency financially. He says that at first he wasn’t able to donate large amounts of money, but as time went on and his business became more successful, he was able to continue giving to CABVI annually and to increase his contributions every year. “That constant flow of money coming in is so important,” he says. “I felt I needed to keep on supporting them. You can’t give and then pull back, because they’ve already found a use for the money they count on receiving.”
As Bill got older, he felt even more of a responsibility to help support CABVI’s continued growth. “I was worried about not being here later on to help them,” he says. He decided to buy an insurance policy to make sure that CABVI will continue to receive money from him even after he passes away. Bill explains that the insurance policy option offered him the chance to ultimately give more to CABVI than he could ever have afforded to do during his lifetime. At the same time, he’s still able to make annual donations to the agency.
Bill believes it’s important – and possible – for most people to support worthy causes the way he does. “We’re very fortunate people,” he says. “In America, we have lots of opportunities to do great things. And sometimes we don’t realize that we can afford to do it. Everybody has a little extra money that they can donate. It makes a big difference to the people you’re giving it to, but it doesn’t have to make a big difference coming out of your pocket.”
Through his own generosity, Bill thinks he may have found the key to contentment. “Helping the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired has had a lot to do with my personal happiness,” he says. “What they’re doing is tremendous, and it’s making people’s lives better. And I would surely love to see a world where everybody is happy. That’s the way our world should be. We don’t need any more discouragement. We need good things to happen. And CABVI makes good things happen.”