Committed philanthropist, volunteer, husband, father, grandfather, and
great-grandfather Claris Poppert declared, "Giving should not be painful;
it should be one of the most enjoyable acts in life."
In the 80s, Claris helped raise the funds to move OMSI from Washington Park
to its current location on the southeast waterfront. He was then asked to
be the corporate gifts chairman, which encouraged local businesses to
support OMSI. Following, he joined OMSI's board and has been involved ever
since. Most recently he completed the
Coastal Discovery Center's
fundraising campaign to build OMSI's residential camp in Newport, OR, an
accomplishment that he easily recognizes as one of OMSI's finest
Such achievements led Claris to make a profound commitment to OMSI's
mission and create his legacy. Claris sold his company, Pumilite Glass
& Building Specialties, then initiated a planned gift to OMSI, giving
back to the community that has given so much to so many, especially him.
"When I made the gift I was cutting my taxes, too. There is a real tax
advantage," he explained. He and his wife, Corlee, set up a charitable
remainder trust that ensures them a lifetime income and, when they pass
away, will distribute the remainder of the gift to OMSI and a few other
charities. As a result of their generosity, both Claris and Corlee are
members of OMSI's J.C. Stevens Legacy Society.
Claris believes supporting OMSI is creating opportunities for children to
be inspired by and engage with science. He points out that our school
systems are not set up to do the things that OMSI can. "You can't put
everything that OMSI does in a classroom," he praises. "We have the
equipment that children can use to solve problems and practice and develop
21st century skills."
Claris settled into retirement for the last few decades, but is not slowing
down. He plays golf at least once a week and card games galore: poker,
bridge, cribbage, you name it. He likes to point out that he learned to
play cards long before smartphones. He is involved with his church as a
property chairman; he has served on at least 12 board of directors for
various non-profits; he is an Emeritus Trustee for OMSI, a lifetime Board
Member for Willamette University, and has served as state and co-state
chairman for several political campaigns. While serving his community, he
always makes time to see his children, grandchildren, and great
Claris has had the pleasure of working with many leaders in our community
and he feels the bestand one of his role modelsis our very own Nancy
Stueber, OMSI's President Emeritus. He lauds her as a marvelous leader that
has done so much for science education here in Oregon and beyond.
OMSI thanks Claris and Corlee for making plans to support OMSI well into
the future as a member of the J.C. Stevens Legacy Society.
About the J.C. Stevens Legacy Society
The J.C. Stevens Legacy Society, named after OMSI's visionary founder,
recognizes donors who have included OMSI in their estate plan. We are
pleased to extend special invitations to exclusive OMSI events and private
tours to Legacy Society members. All you need to do is tell OMSI that your
plan is in place and that you are willing to be publicly listed on the J.C.
Stevens Legacy Society honor roll, setting the example for others to
follow. If you wish, your gift can remain anonymous.
To learn more about how you can become a member of the J.C. Stevens Legacy
Society, please contact Love Centerwall at (503) 797-4616 or