Managing a family office or philanthropic foundation can be difficult, so it helps to get training at an early age, and among the descendants of the late bandleader Lawrence Welk, that education starts before they can even legally buy champagne.
Charles W. Collier, a senior philanthropic advisor at Harvard University, told a conference on family offices on Thursday that he recently met with Welk’s daughter and granddaughter to talk about how they set up the board for their family foundation. The bandleader who was known as the maestro of champagne music passed away in 1992, but his descendants have been overseeing his foundation in the years since. Apparently, one of their beneficiaries is Harvard. To help educate the Welk family on how to disburse the longtime TV host’s earnings, the foundation has a junior board consisting of younger members of the family who are not old enough to hold seats on the official board.
For even younger members of the Welk family, one imagines they must have bubble machines they can practice with as they hone their skills at philanthropy and band conducting. As the maestro himself used to say, "Wunnerful, wunnerful. Uh one and uh two..."