Longtime Auburn resident Marian Walsh met Placer Community Foundation in 2005 wishing to make a gift in her estate plan that would honor her parents and her family’s value for education. Little did she know the future generation she’d be supporting and the impact they are making in the world.
Marian met with her attorney to name the Foundation as a beneficiary in her estate plan. Upon her passing, the Foundation received her gift and established the John G. and Lillian M. Walsh Scholarship Fund. Over the years, this endowed fund has provided over 60 students with scholarships to attend Sierra College. One such recipient was Kai Ulrich, who used his scholarship to not only pay tution, but to create an innovative career opportunity that is helping save lives during the pandemic.
Upon finishing his coursework Kai founded a consulting business and was working with Sierra College to bring 3-D printing into the curriculum. But when COVID-19 closed the campus those plans came to a halt, so he found another way to give back to his community, using his 3D printing skills and printers the campus couldn’t use anymore to help create face shields.
“I have a very close connection with Sierra College because I do work with them,” Kai explained in a recent interview. “I asked them if I could use their equipment at home to create these masks.”
Now, Kai has two printers at home where he is creating masks day and night, producing more than one hundred masks in a few short weeks. The masks then go to Operations Shields Up, a group that produces masks out of Rocklin and distributes them out to local healthcare workers.
“My way of giving back to the community embodies Marian who was giving back to the community in the first place. A little bit of giving can go a long way.” -Kai Ulrich, Walsh Scholarship recipient