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All in the Family, Dave & Karen Custer


Mark, Kellie, Kortne, & Todd Custer at Golf FORE Clark

All in the family, Dave & Karen Custer

How often do you see entire families committed to and actively involved with the mission of a non-profit? Perhaps the parents and one of the children volunteer their time for a few years while their family members are residents. Maybe some of them give gifts to a campaign or an annual appeal. Possibly one serves as a board trustee. But…entire families?

Well, just take a look at the amazing Custers! Dave, Karen, and their sons Scott, Todd and Mark have been involved with Clark for more than 25 years and in many different ways. As family members, volunteers, committee participants, board trustees, campaign cabinet chair and members, event hosts, ambassadors, employee advocates, and generous donors. WOW! So, how did this happen?

Knowing the reputation and legacy of Clark, Dave and Karen both moved their mothers here in the 1990’s. This was not only the beginning of their relationship with Clark, but that of their three young sons who became weekly visitors. “We were so impressed and relieved to see the genuine, loving care our mothers received in their new environments”, said Karen. “Our mother’s caregivers became our friends and we called them our own Clark Angels. Through the years, our family has chosen to volunteer on Clark’s Board of Trustees, as committee members and chair of the Vibrant Community Campaign. Dave & I want to help raise as much money as possible to keep Clark vibrant. I love that word. It is a perfect description of Clark.”

Family unity is also shown in their business, Custer, Inc., a leader in the integrated interiors and commercial furnishing industry and founded by Dave in 1981. The Custer Family of Companies has now transitioned to the second generation with all 3 sons holding leadership roles yet Dave and Karen still being an integral part of the
business. As for second generation involvement at Clark, Todd remembers visiting his grandparents every Sunday with his brothers and having ice cream in the Chatterbox. “Our time at Clark was always special and a great gathering place for our family. We believe in the mission of Clark and want to ensure other families have the same experience as we did. That is why we give and will always continue to do so.” Todd served as a Foundation Trustee for 9 years and was a member of the Vibrant Community Campaign Cabinet. Custer is also a premier sponsor of the Golf FORE Clark outing.

“The Custers are an amazing family to work with – fun, creative, engaging, generous and inspirational,” says JoAnn Abraham, Executive Director. Mark is currently the Custer family member serving as a Foundation Trustee.

“I love working with Clark for a couple different reasons. The first being that both my Grandmothers spent their final years at Clark, having a blast enjoying all the amenities available at the Franklin campus. The second reason is the chance to get involved and align with Clark’s vision using my skillset and network to help promote and raise money for an organization that means so much to me and our family. I’m so excited to be able to stay involved on the Foundation Board. The best part is bragging to other families about how great Clark is and sharing their vision for the future.”

Our sincerest thanks to the entire Custer family for your support and belief in Clark!


“Our family loves Clark and we hold it dear to our hearts!” – TODD CUSTER

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