Donor Petta & Ron Khouw – A Love Affair with the Parks

Khouw.Petta and Ronald 2.2016

Though Petta grew up in Ohio and Ron was born on the other side of the world, Ron was the one to introduce Petta to the parks of her homeland.

Ron moved from Indonesia to the U.S. to go to school. When Ron was in college and his younger brother turned 16, they celebrated his brother’s new driver’s license by taking an 8,000-mile road trip. Over the course of three weeks, they visited a dozen national parks including Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, and Rocky Mountain National Park. That memorable trip cemented Ron’s love for the parks of his adopted nation.

Until she married Ron, Petta had not spent much time in the national parks. Their first park trip together was to Everglades National Park in Florida. Petta was amazed at how different the tropical wetlands were from anything she had seen at home in Ohio.

Together, they’ve shared many memorable moments in the parks. But none was quite as special as the time they took their niece to Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde. Their niece, a teacher, was preparing a new curriculum on Native American culture and she wanted to visit these iconic western parks to gather ideas to create new teaching materials.

During a hike through Capital Reef National Park in Utah, they stopped along the edge of a canyon. There were no other visitors in sight and the view was breathtaking. Then their niece took out a Native American flute she had purchased from a nearby tribe and began to play. The sweet sound of her notes echoed off the canyon walls. Petta told us, “It was so beautiful—a moment we will never forget.”

Petta and Ron want everyone to experience beautiful moments like that in our national parks. That’s why they decided to leave a gift to the parks by making the National Park Foundation a beneficiary of their IRA. They hope their gift will inspire others to consider this easy way to leave a gift and ensure that the parks will be there for future generations to love and enjoy.