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The Nankervis Donation to PCA

By Rick Propas, Former PCA President

In the summer of 2008, a longtime member of the Pen Collectors of America wrote to the Board of Directors expressing a desire to give his collection of more than twelve hundred pens to the PCA.   His idea was that this gift would provide an endowment that would put the organization on firm financial footing for the foreseeable future.

As President I quickly took the offer to the board with a strong recommendation to accept the gift.  The board enthusiastically agreed and we then began a careful process of determining how to effect the transfer. It helped that the donor is an attorney, but we needed someone on our side to vet the process.  At this point, Vance Koven, who was not then a board member, agreed to act as counsel.  With Vance’s support we were able to draw up the necessary legal and financial papers to effect the gift. Our treasurer John Jenkins was able to provide the necessary financial expertise, and a member who is a trust attorney in California helped review the documents.

In the meantime the board authorized me to visit Southern California to meet our benefactor and to view the pens. Although initially the donor had thought of this as a bequest, to come to the PCA after his passing, we agreed that it might be more enjoyable for us all to begin the process in stages while the donor is still with us.  From there we developed a plan to acquire, appraise and, ultimately, to sell the pens.

In July 2009 I made a second visit to help select those pens that would make up the first part of the gift. The next step was to recruit a group of prominent members of the pen community who are familiar with the market for vintage pens and were willing to appraise the pens for both tax and market purposes.

You see before you the results of an extraordinary effort on the part of the pen community to secure the future well-being of our hobby.  Based on expectations for this gift, the PCA Board has already expanded our activities to include a new, interactive website, added administrative support and board training in more effective management.

The proceeds from these pens will now go into the general funds of the PCA where they will be invested in a manner that will allow us both to draw on interest as necessary and to build reserves for the future.  As you choose the pens you wish to acquire, you will not only be enhancing your collection, but you will be contributing to the future of the community.  Thank you!

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