During the four years of 2010 to 2013, the Angeles Chapter Foundation contributed more than $110,000 toward publication expenses of the Angeles Chapter’s Schedule of Activities, when mailed separately to all Chapter members and later combined with the Southern Sierran newsletter. These donations were generated entirely as investment earnings of the Foundation’s Adam Burke Outings Endowment, which is dedicated to reimbursing the Angeles Chapter “for the conservation and educational expenses of publishing its Schedule of Activities and then for other reasonable conservation and educational expenses of the outings program.”
Until its last issue, covering July through October 2012, the paper Schedule of Activities that all Angeles Chapter members received four times a year was partly subsidized by dividends earned by the Adam Burke Outings Endowment.
So who was Adam Burke? He was an Angeles Chapter activist, a member of the West L.A. Group’s Management Committee. He served as the Group Chair and as the Outings Chair. Hiking and organizing trips were his favorite activities, and he led trips together with, among others, Harry Goldstein of the Cabrillo Group and with Frankie Marx of Verdugo Hills.
“He was especially good at organizing and leading bus trips,” remarks Howard Strauss, Chair of the Chapter’s Los Angeles County Political Committee. “He always made people feel comfortable on his trips since he was very easy to get along with,” Howard adds. He and Adam went on a number of hikes, backpacks and bus trips together. These included the High Sierra Loop in Yosemite, the Milford Trek in New Zealand and rafting on the Colorado River.
John Lajeuness, Chapter Executive Committee member and fundraising trip leader extraordinaire, notes that Burke led a fundraising cruise. On this cruise, Burke performed his famous tee-shirt dance. As part of a talent show, he would put on 20, 30, even 40 tee-shirts. Then, he would take them off one by one as he executed strip-tease style moves. Another memorable performance took place at the Sierra Club’s Clair Tappan Lodge near Donner Summit. “Especially on the cruise ship,” Howard Strauss recollects, “people had no idea what to make of it.”
Adam worked as a bookkeeper, but his weekends and vacations were studded with outings, many of which he had organized himself. His dedication to the Angeles Chapter and his love for wilderness travel led him to leave a substantial amount of money to the Angeles Chapter Foundation (ACF) to establish an outings endowment.
“Few people loved the Schedule as much as the late Adam Burke,” writes Angeles Chapter Historian Bob Cates. “Upon his death in 2002, he bequeathed a handsome endowment to the ACF…” An endowment is a gift of money or property to an institution for a specific purpose, especially one in which the principal is kept intact indefinitely and only the interest income from that principal is used. The endowment Adam Burke left bears his name, and the Angeles Chapter Foundation is pleased to be able to use interest from the endowment to fund the Angeles Chapter outings publications.