Meet Our Donors

We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.

Dorothea and Ted Behr

After Ted was able to take early retirement from his company, we had some bonus and option stock available at low cost and paying very low dividends. Accordingly, after consulting our investment advisor and lawyer, we decided that a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) approach gave us some significant benefits: fulfilling some long-term charitable opportunities; taking a sizable charitable tax deduction immediately; and exchanging the low dividend stock for a 7% annual income from the trust.

While the trust provisions of a CRUT place the decision on selection of ultimate trust beneficiaries with the trustees we have selected, the latter are very well aware that ALS, our church, and several local organizations with which we have been volunteering for many years are not only eminently worthy in themselves, but represented in a real sense who we are.

When we set up the trust and transferred stock to a CRUT account with our brokers, we were able to take an immediate federal tax deduction for the full value of the stock. As it happened this was important to us financially, since we were able offset capital gains on the sale of other highly appreciated investments.

Moreover, the fact that changes in the CRUT portfolio were not affected by federal tax considerations gave us the chance to alter it to protect the corpus when there were radical changes in market conditions – an extremely important advantage during the 2008-2010 economic downturn.

Since retirement meant total reliance on fixed and investment income sources, the 7% annual return income from the asset value of the CRUT was a welcome addition to our income. With the help of our financial advisors we have been able to grow the value of the trust despite the annual trust income withdrawals.

We were fortunate enough to have been able to make appropriate provision for our children and grandchildren through a division of assets and other trust arrangements.

Having moved several years ago into a nice retirement center which provides reliable life time care and a lot of warm companionship, the presence of the CRUT and the family trusts give us both comfort and cautious optimism for the future.

Click here to learn more about supporting the Chapter through a Charitable Remainder Uni-Trust.

Jay Bolick

When my beloved wife Lisa passed away from ALS in June of 2010 I wanted to honor her in some way. I also wanted to do what I could to help other people suffering from the effects of this horrible disease. ALS not only impacts the life of those who suffer from it, but profoundly transforms the lives of their families as well. Lisa needed 24 hour assistance early on in her progression as the disease quickly robbed her of the use of her hands. I quit my Community College teaching job in order to care for her full time. Because most of our life savings were in retirement funds and 401-K plans, we needed to be frugal to get by on Lisa's Social Security Disability check and a limited amount of savings.

I am profoundly grateful to the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter for all of the services and equipment provided to us at a time of economic uncertainty. Ramping into our home, medical equipment of all sorts, and most importantly, 14 hours per week of in-home care were provided to us at little or no cost. The Chapter provides help to anyone with a diagnosis of ALS, regardless of the patient family's financial status. Without their help we would have been in a state of even more anxiety, worrying about whether we could afford the in-home care which allowed me to do such things as shop for the groceries, mow the lawn, have the car serviced, go to my own medical appointments, and even take an hour for a walk in the park sometimes to de-stress.

After Lisa's death I found myself financially secure enough that I wanted to repay the ALS Association for the services they had provided to us, so that others with the disease could continue to receive the same benefits we had. Through the Chapter I was able to establish a Named Fund to honor my wife's memory, and at the same time help others with the disease. Having no children, I also had a new will prepared in order to bequeath the majority of any remaining estate to the Greater Philadelphia Chapter upon my death. In the darkest, most awful hours of our life they were there to help. Until a cure is found for this disease, their help will continue to be desperately needed by the families it afflicts.

Click here to learn more about establishing a Named Fund

Click here to learn more about supporting the Chapter with a bequest in your will.

Dale Shimer

After my wife, Marge’s death from ALS in April 1999, I decided that I wanted to assist the Chapter’s efforts with both my personal time and financial resources. The Chapter had always been there, at the clinic or on the telephone, to offer much-needed and much-appreciated advice and support. I thought that my aid could serve as a form of “thank you.”

I was rather quickly offered numerous opportunities to utilize my available time and abilities in the Chapter’s many activities through volunteering, and I have continued my involvement, now also as a member of the Board of Directors.

The form of my financial support for the Chapter, however, took more time and thought on my part to decide. I had quickly retired upon learning my wife’s ALS diagnosis and then had been quite absorbed as her sole caregiver for four years. Therefore, after her death, my earlier modest estate planning needed a reassessment. I sought advice from an attorney for my much altered future, telling him that I wished to minimize the future impact of taxes on my estate in order to maximize the amounts going to my children at my death. In addition, I indicated that I wanted to share some of my current income with the Chapter. The attorney felt that a Charitable Lead Trust was a good fit for my particular circumstances and desires.

The Charitable Lead Trust that I established and funded provides annual payments to the Chapter for a period of ten years. After this period, the trust assets and income will be available to my heirs on a very tax-effective basis.

From working closely with the Chapter staff, I have observed, first hand, the caring support being extended to ALS patients and their caregivers. It is personally very satisfying to know that my time and the Charitable Lead Trust that I established will not only aid this effort and contribute toward finding a cure for ALS, but also provide a lasting tribute to my wife.

Click here to learn more about Charitable Trusts.

Mrs. G. Mary Lincoln

Mary Lincoln of Gettysburg, PA traces her involvement with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter back to the very roots of the organization. “When my husband, Bob, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1977, not much was known about ALS at that time,” said Mary. “The Greater Philadelphia Chapter was really just getting started, and when I read that a support group was being organized in Hanover, PA I knew that I had to go see if I could be involved. As it turned out, for 15 years I volunteered to be the telephone contact person for that group.”

Mary has also been a steady contributor to the ALS Association and recently made a gift to the Chapter in the form of a charitable gift annuity in memory of her husband. “I continue to support the Chapter because I know that families touched by ALS need all the help they can get. I was in a position of needing to increase my income, and the annuity I have with the ALS Association provides me with guaranteed fixed payments for the rest of my life at a rate of 9.5%. I would definitely urge others to consider this unique giving option.”

Click here to learn more about Charitable Gift Annuities.

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The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter
321 Norristown Road - Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002