The Legacy Foundation

Bob and Kathy Ketels first visited Bald Head Island back in 1998.  Like many people, each time they visited, their love for the island grew.

“I think we both fell in love with the island very quickly,” said Bob.  “I loved that the island had such different environments.  The coastal, marsh and creeks as well as the great maritime forest.”

Like many visitors to the island, the moment the Ketels step onto the ferry a sense of peace overcomes them and the magic of the island takes over.  Growing up in urban areas, the Ketels were amazed by the darkness at night that allowed for stunning evening sky, fostering Bob’s love of astronomy.

The Ketels family has always had a deep love for the environment and have continued to be avid supporters of the Bald Head Island Conservancy, first as members, then life members.  In 2012 they took their support to a new level, joining the Bald Head Island Conservancy’s Legacy Foundation; choosing to include the Bald Head Island Conservancy in their will.

The Ketels have always valued the work of the Conservancy, it’s preservation and conservation of and education about this unique barrier island.

“To leave a legacy donation will ensure that this valuable work of the Conservancy will continue in the future.  This gift we have been given, this unique island, needs to be preserved and protected for the enjoyment of future generations,” say Bob and Kathy.

Kathy’s love of the Conservancy stemmed from one of the Conservancy’s most popular programs.  “We loved what the Conservancy was doing to help the loggerhead turtles,” says Kathy.  "We became involved because of that important work."

Like many islanders, the Ketels are concerned with growth and change on the island, though they have confidence in the community’s and Conservancy’s work to preserve the barrier island.  Bob feels that education is of utmost importance.  Educating our children so that they can continue the important practices of conservation and preservation is critical.

The Ketels hope more islanders will follow suit and consider leaving a legacy to the Bald Head Island Conservancy.  It was a simple process says Kathy.

“We had our attorney amend our wills to include a legacy gift to the Conservancy.  We informed BHIC of the gift by creating and sending BHIC a notification document."

Kathy says the decision to leave a legacy was the right thing to do.  "We are helping to ensure that this work will go on for future generations.”

For more information about the Bald Head Island Legacy Foundation visit: or contact Melissa Blackmon at
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