top of page

The Des Moines
Legacy Foundation

 Founded in 1999

Together we are building a brighter future for the Des Moines community.

A Gentle Nudge, Kelly Barker.jpg

Our Mission

The Des Moines Legacy Foundation serves to: 

  • Provide access to parks and recreation regardless of age or economic status.

  • Support children in reaching their potential.

  • Enhance ways for senior citizens to remain active and independant.

  • Enrich lives through arts and cultural events. 

  • Serve as a conduit for giving back to the community through volunteer and charitable activities.

Our Board of Directors

Patrice Thorell



Patrice is also a founding member of the foundation, serving from 1999-2018 as its perpetual secretary before retiring from a 39-year career in the Parks and Recreation profession. Patrice worked in many capacities including as Cultural and Special Services Superintendent and Department for the City of Kent and as the Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Director for Des Moines. Patrice worked to re-establish the Des Moines Arts Commission, create the Waterfront Farmers Market, list the Des Moines Beach Park as a National Historic District, construct the Des Moines Creek Trail, and build and renovate our local parks and play areas. Patrice is especially proud of the foundation's work to enhance programs for and support to local youth and seniors, and our work to provide arts and cultural opportunities for the community. The work of the foundation helps to meet many underserved needs that are important for creating a healthy and inclusive lifestyle for our citizens.

Patrice loves to walk our beaches and the Des Moines Creek Trail. She has enjoyed watching her daughters grow up while participating in parks and recreation summer camps, sports programs, and arts events. Patrice believes that working in collaboration with other organizations such as Rotary, Destination Des Moines, and the Farmers Market, will ensure that our community will continue to thrive.

Alone we can do so little;

together we can do so much

( Helen Keller)

Our Board members

Gene Achziger


Gene has a strong sense of community having served as the Des Moines Legacy Foundation's President, and on the Redondo Community Club for many years. He led the "Save Mt. Rainer Pool" Committee that asked citizens to pass and fund the Des Moines Metropolitan Pool District. Gene is currently an elected Pool Commissioner and Des Moines City Council member.

His "other" work was as a journalist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, an adjunct professor at Highline College, and a graphic artist.

Gene feels strongly that we are called to give back to our communities and the Des Moines Legacy Foundation is the perfect vehicle for serving our neighbors because Legacy's mission since 1999 has been to build community. Gene hopes his legacy to the Des Moines community to be keeping swimming accessible for all and spreading the word about the Des Moines Legacy Foundation and its opportunities to help make this an even better place to raise a family and retire.

Working With the Best  Partners:

The best resultscome withcaring partnerships.

Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.42.57 PM 1.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.53.05 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 6.01.40 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.50.39 PM 1.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 6.08.26 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.34.53 PM.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.46.08 PM 1.png
Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 5.39.28 PM.png
Tree of Life, Kris Vermeer.jpg

Des Moines Legacy Foundation

Value 01.

We celebrate our community and honor it's strength

Through acts of kindness, support, and collaboration, we have built a network of individuals dedicated to uplifting and empowering each other. It is through these connections that we have been able to weather hardships, celebrate victories, and create a sense of belonging for all who call this community home. As we look towards the future, let us continue to honor and nourish these relationships, recognizing that our collective strength is what will carry us through whatever challenges may come our way.

bottom of page