[caption id="attachment_49607" align="alignright" width="423"] The 2011 Blood Bank of the Redwoods board of directors, left to right: Gary Nix, Dr. Steven Gospe, Jarold Warren, Shirley Ward, Spencer Bader, Martin Grove, Lee Parker, Anne Huber, Yale Abrams, Bill Hyatt, John Garrett, Douglas Jordan and The Honorable Robert Boyd. Not shown: Dr. Bill Cole, Bart Weitzenberg[/caption]

SANTA ROSA and UKIAH -- Blood Bank of the Redwoods has established "legacy funds" that will be directed toward numerous community health programs in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, done so in conjunction with Blood Centers of the Pacific, which absorbed the Santa Rosa-based blood bank last year.

Formally called the Blood Bank of the Redwoods Legacy Funds at Community Foundation Sonoma County and at the Community Foundation of Mendocino, the funds are net proceeds totaling $2.2 million left over from the merger with San Francisco-based Blood Centers of the Pacific. 

Both boards of directors of the two nonprofit blood banks agreed to structure the remaining money into endowments overseen by the two foundations, thereby continuing to serve the communities BBR served for more than 63 years.

"When you have two nonprofits that come together in an acquisition like this, unlike in the for-profit world, the net proceeds of the buyout can't go to the company that got bought out," said Kent Corley, former funds development and spokesman for Blood Bank of the Redwoods.

The Santa Rosa blood bank had also accrued numerous valuable assets over its history, including ownership of its Bethards Drive blood center, technology, equipment, vehicles and a large blood donor database.

"That provided the board with a unique opportunity to honor all of the blood donors who saved lives everyday for 63 years with endowments in two of our local community foundations," said Spencer Bader, board chair of BBR.

Both nonprofits also agreed that putting the proceeds into community trusts was the best way to serve its target populations for years to come. The principal of the endowments will stay in tact for as long as possible. "The intention is that it should last for generations," Mr. Corley said.

The two foundations will asses the current health care needs in the three targeted counties and will likely distribute grants in late 2012 or early 2013.  The foundations will offer grants in areas of blood banking, transfusion medicine, health and wellness and funding for research in related fields, all of which are much-needed in rural portions of the three counties. Although Lake County does not have a community foundation, the Community Foundation of Sonoma County is able to make grants there.

Both foundations praised the allocation of funds.

"They really are to be congratulated for the thoughtful way in which they transitioned their vital local organization," Pete Golis, chair of Community Foundation Sonoma County, said of the board of BBR.

Jim Mayfield, board president of Community Foundation Mendocino County, added, "The foundation is grateful to receive a portion of the proceeds and I know there are worthy local programs that will benefit from the endowment for many years to come."

Community Foundation of Sonoma County is the second largest nonprofit in the North Bay, with $32 million in revenue for 2010. Community Foundation Mendocino County has net assets of more than $14.5 million, according to its 2010-2011 annual report.