by Lara Korba
Board member, Gayle Porter, and her husband, Dave, fell in love with Africa years ago. Having visited Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, they were familiar with the beauty of each culture they came to know as well as the poverty. They eventually came to know and appreciate the Batwa through a talk by Diane Stanton. She was speaking at the family’s church and as Gayle learned about the plight of the pygmies in southwest Uganda, Gayle began to feel her heart beating fast: “I knew this ministry was something we had to get involved with.” When they met Scott Kellermann, they were taken with his passion and fire: “He gave up so much to take care of the Batwa. There aren’t many people who are willing to do that.” After several investments in projects in Bwindi, Scott Kellermann suggested they consider funding a new maternity wing at Bwindi Community Hospital (BCH), to serve women and children with life-saving surgery.
The wing was completed shortly before Christmas that year. Dave was in the middle of hunting at their family ranch on Christmas Eve: “I was on the ground looking at some animals and my phone buzzed. It was a photo from Dr. Kellermann in his surgical gown and he’s holding this baby that he has just delivered. He said, ‘This woman and baby would have died if we hadn’t built this little hospital wing. This is your Christmas present.’” Since that day, thousands of babies have been safely born at BCH.
Gayle and Dave have a particular passion for organizations that help people help themselves, where they can invest in the success and stability of future generations. “Kellermann helps in a rural area where it’s a difficult life for women. The Kellermann Foundation helps to uplift women through education, which lifts the standard of living for entire families. We know the funds are used well, and a little goes a long way. It’s like dropping a pebble in the water. Each donation doesn’t just impact where you drop the pebble. It ripples out and touches a whole lot of people and generations to come. When we educate one nurse, she may treat 10,000 people in her lifetime! We get the biggest bang for our buck from the Kellermann Foundation. We’re helping to save a culture of people. The impact is obvious – more than any other organization we’ve supported.”
When Gayle was asked to be on the Board, a big part of her motivation was that Kellermann is a strong Christian organization that helps create change for generations. She has served on the Board for three years and feels very fortunate: “We have been given a lot, so a lot is expected from us. We are blessed to be able to support the Kellermann Foundation.”
Gayle and Dave have been married for thirty-three years and live in Dallas. They have raised two wonderful sons, Chase and Payton Porter, and are generous philanthropists through their family foundation. Gayle is very active in her church and Dave is an avid hunter.