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violin As his playing days in the Colorado Springs Symphony came to an end, Ashland College’s music faculty director Calvin Y. Rogers donated his Poggi violin to a charitable remainder trust benefiting the University in Ashland, Ohio. Poggi violins are considered to be the premier Italian violins made in the twentieth century, and are in high demand among those who treasure fine string instruments. Professor Rogers and his wife, Helen, felt that giving the violin in this manner was a fitting tribute to their long association with Ashland University. The gift creates an endowed fund to provide scholarships for music students.
Nick Begovich began acquiring post-WWII foreign sports cars in the early 1950's. Fifty years later, he established a charitable remainder trust, funded from the sale of a 1960 Aston Martin DBG4GT Zagato. One of only 19 manufactured, the car sold in 2001 for $1million. The trust provided a lifetime annuity for Nick and his wife, with the remainder to benefit his alma mater, Caltech.
In July 1962, John Cox gave the capital stock of Yankee Stadium Corporation to his alma mater, Rice University in Houston, TX. The gift included title to the stadium plus primary leasing rights, which over time earned the university $3.7 million dollars. However, the six acres of land on which the stadium stood was owned by the Knights of Columbus, and leased to the Yankee Stadium Corporation. Nine years after the gift was made, the City of New York acquired the “House that Ruth Built” from Rice for $2.5 million.
Gold and silver coins were among the many unique assets given by John Stoddard to the cancer center that bears his name at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in DesMoines. From 1989 to his death in 1998, Stoddard used almost every giving option: annuity trusts, life estates, gift annuities, and outright gifts to accomplish his charitable work. Ultimately, his gifts to the John Stoddard Cancer Center and the Iowa Health Foundation exceeded $33 million.
Odyssey House in New Orleans, LA, is part of the legacy of African American philanthropist Thomy Lafon. At his death in 1893, Mr. Lafon left an estate of nearly $600,000 to numerous charitable organizations. Included were two buildings that served as an orphanage for children who lost their parents to the Civil War. Since 1973, those buildings have been the home of a nonprofit behavioral healthcare facility that is being restored with help from the Partners in Preservation program, funded by American Express in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
When five of the historic H. J. Heinz Company buildings in Pittsburgh, PA, became available for conversion into loft housing, the developer and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation explored how easements could protect the buildings and benefit the developer. A professional appraisal determined that the property value of the buildings was significantly diminished if façade and development easements were taken. By accepting these two easements, the History & Landmarks Foundation gave the developer a significant charitable contribution that closed a major gap in financing the project. Without the easement, the developer would not have been able to complete his adaptive-use project and the Heinz buildings might have been lost.
Two organizations turned down a gift of 487 Hummel® figurines from Herman "Butch" and Wilhelmina Fischahs before they contacted the Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home in Denver, CO. The Tennyson Center gladly accepted the gift, and the sale of most of the collection resulted in a gift of $40,000. Several of the figurines remain at the Tennyson Center, where a therapy room was named in honor of Mrs. Fischahs.
Dr. Herald Nokes and his wife, Donna, donated 1,650 acres of their forest land in central Idaho to the University of Idaho by placing a conservation easement on the land in favor of the Idaho Department of Lands, and then donating the fee title to the University subject to a retained life estate. Total value of the gift was just under $11 million. UI will use the property as an outdoor classroom/laboratory and for field research. Ongoing selective harvesting of the trees will provide a continuous source of revenue to help underwrite the maintenance and use of the land.
George Getz, who made his fortune dealing in anthracite coal, owned Lakewood Farm, near Holland, MI, and kept a private zoo there during the 1920s. In 1933, Mr. Getz decided to close the farm and donated his collection of 143 mammals, 123 birds and four reptiles to Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, IL, which was then under construction. Because of the donation, the zoo was able to open in 1934.
Two tables inlaid with seven- or eight-million year old fossils from a downtown Los Angeles construction site arrived at the Multicare Health System in Tacoma, WA, as part of an estate gift. The estate was a treasure trove that also included everything from Amish quilts to a 1956 restored Chevy pickup truck and a lot on a nearby island.
American Captain Donald Emerson was one of the many heroes of World War II, dying during a particularly challenging European airwar period at Christmas 1944. His carefully restored P-51 (“The Donald Duck”) was donated to the Anglo-American wing of the Royal Air Force's Museum at Hendon, north of London, by Bob Tullius, a founding board member of the American Foundation of the Royal Air Force Museum. Mr. Tullius converted his ownership of the aircraft into a limited partnership, gifting some shares immediately, and retaining shares for later gifting as his carry-forward limitations fade. His lifetime planning includes a bequest of any ungifted shares at his death.
In late 2007, a $30 million endowment gift from performer, producer and philanthropist Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall Alpert, created the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation is the largest ever made to the arts in the University of California system. Mr. Alpert's philanthropic involvement with UCLA spans nearly four decades and includes, among other things, the establishment of the Herb Alpert Jazz Studies scholarships and support for the UCLA Arts Music Partnership Program, which brings music education to K–12 students in Los Angeles-area schools.

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