Cox, who passed away in December, was a community advocate and the recipient of the foundation's 2011 Award in Philanthropy. Although she lived most of her adult life in California, she returned to Willmar in 2004, shortly after the death of her husband, Joe, who made his fortune in chainsaws. Her bequest, which is valued at more than $6 million, boosts the value of the foundation's endowment to more than $12 million and will be used to establish the Joe and Alice C. Cox Fund at the foundation.
"This is a transformational gift — for our foundation and for our community for which we are extremely grateful," said WACF board chair John Lindstrom. "The board will be working carefully over the next months to ensure that Alice's extraordinary gift has abiding benefits for our community, and we truly honor Alice's confidence in the community foundation."