A now dissolved veterinary nonprofit made a generous donation to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation this year as its final contribution to the profession.
The Southern Veterinary Medical Federation presented a gift valued at approximately $160,000 to the AVMF during the Foundation's first partnership breakfast, held at the AVMA Annual Convention in Atlanta. The contribution was in the form of roughly 2,500 shares of stock in Coca-Cola Co., which is, aptly, headquartered in that city. The federation's donation is the single largest noncorporate gift the Foundation received in 2010.
The SVMF was founded in 1938 to provide a forum for veterinary continuing education and camaraderie at sites throughout the southern United States. Often, the meetings were held in the fall in mountainous areas such as Asheville, N.C., said Dr. William A. Rumbavage, a former SVMF board member who lives in Jacksonville, Miss. At its height, the federation would draw 200 to 250 members to its CE meetings. The nonprofit later raised funds for scholarships at the nine schools and colleges of veterinary medicine in the southeastern United States.
Then, over the years, things changed, Dr. Rumbavage said.
"We sort of faded away because we didn't keep up with times, in a way, and got replaced by state organizations supplying CE," he said.
The SVMF held its last meeting in 2001 but was left with the quandary of what to do with its remaining funds. Most had been invested in the soda company's stocks. Dr. Rumbavage said that was how the organization chose to invest its money before investment vehicles such as certificates of deposit became popular.
The former federation board members eventually decided the AVMF would be the best recipient of the money because of the number of animal- and veterinary-related causes it helps.
The AVMF plans to use the donation to support its overall mission work. In addition, a portion of the funds will be earmarked for veterinary student scholarships and other student activities.
Michael Cathey, AVMF executive director, said, "The AVMF is so very appreciative of this most generous gift in honor of the commitment and dedication of all of the past members of the Southern Veterinary Medical Federation. Through this gift, the 63-year legacy of the Southern Veterinary Medical Federation will live on."
Information about how to donate to the Foundation is available by visiting the AVMF Web site at www.avmf.org or by calling the AVMF office at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6689.