TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Throughout her life, Neva McCormick had an abundant love of animals. Even after her death, she continues to display her care for dogs and cats.
"In large part, she kept herself busy during her remaining years by taking care of animals," John Ross said. "She donated to animal shelters, but she also went as far to buy a house for street cats."
Ross is the trustee to McCormick's foundation, which was set up after she passed away in 2020.
"She was an interesting lady," Ross said. "She originally came to me because she didn't have any children. She didn't have any brothers or sisters. But basically, Neva's position was she wanted to benefit the animals."
Ross said McCormick had specific instructions for her fortune to take place upon her death.
"One, being the one million dollars to the Texarkana Arkansas animal shelter, which that's been done," Ross said. "And then the rest of it essentially went into a private foundation, we manage that."
Ross said the foundation is for the benefit of animal-based charities around the Southwest Arkansas and East Texas region.
"There's not really specific guidelines as far as which animal charities, it's up to our discretion," Ross said. "It's just got to benefit animal charities."
Ross said the foundation will likely begin accepting grant applications and issuing grants in January of 2023.
"We have a form that any animal based charity could pick up if they want to apply for a grant," Ross said. "They just have to reach out to us, we've already reached out to probably half a dozen, locally or so."
Ross said the foundation hopes to eventually bring the form to online platforms and that animal organizations must be a 501(C)3 charity to apply for a grant.
"We feel pretty strongly about making sure that Neva's intentions are carried out," Ross said. "She was a headstrong lady all the way up to her last day and knowing that about her, I know she would be quite particular about what services and things like that."