Hershel & Bette Sparks Estate makes gifts of over $4 million to local nonprofits

      WVC Foundation logo                   CH Foundation logo


June 18, 2024

Media Contacts:  
Rachel Evey, WVC Foundation executive director, 509-682-6415
Suzanne Carté-Cocroft, Confluence Health Foundation vice president of philanthropy, 509-436-6276

CF and WVC Foundation

Executive Director Rachel Evey and Board President Josh Wood of WVC Foundation (left) pose with a photo of Hershel & Bette Sparks, 
along with Board President John Stoll and Vice President of Philanthropy Suzanne Carté-Cocroft of Confluence Health Foundation (right)

The Estate of Hershel & Bette Sparks has gifted over $4 million to three local nonprofit organizations. Confluence Health Foundation and Saddlerock Presbyterian Church each received $1.7 million, and Wenatchee Valley College Foundation received $699,000.

Hershel & Bette Sparks, a pioneering couple in the local fruit industry, grew apples and owned three different warehouses in the Wenatchee valley. They were married in 1942 and moved to Wenatchee in 1943. Hershel operated the first controlled-atmosphere warehouse in Wenatchee and was known as "the man with a plan." Bette did ranch payroll and bookwork and expanded her business and industry knowledge through Hershel's businesses.

After Hershel’s passing in 2009 and Bette in 2011, their estate made initial gifts of $199,500 to the WVC Foundation and $498,750 to the Confluence Health Foundation. The $4 million, received by the three nonprofits this spring, is the second distribution from the Sparks Estate. A third and final gift will be distributed to each at a later date.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Sparks for their extraordinary generosity and their commitment to care for Wenatchee and North Central Washington,” said Suzanne Carté-Cocroft, Confluence Health Foundation vice president of philanthropy. “Their support not only serves as a testament to the Sparks’ philanthropic spirit, but it ignites hope and fuels our resolve to create a healthier future for all.”

"Hershel and Bette Sparks were dedicated supporters of education during their lifetime, and we are truly honored to be a part of their legacy," said Rachel Evey, WVC Foundation executive director. "Their generous gift will impact generations of students attending Wenatchee Valley College.”


Established in 1978, Confluence Health Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the unique needs of our rural communities. Confluence Health Foundation plays a pivotal role in bridging gaps, fostering innovation, and advancing health and well-being in North Central Washington. For information about how philanthropy can make a lasting impact in our communities, contact Suzanne at (509) 436-6276 or visit www.confluencehealthfoundation.org.

The WVC Foundation was incorporated in 1971. The foundation’s mission is to provide equitable access to education and invest in student success through philanthropy. For information on how to make a gift to the foundation, establish a scholarship or include the WVC Foundation in your estate plans, contact (509) 682-6410. Visit the WVC Foundation website at http://www.wvc.edu/foundation.

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