Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are two of their stories.
Marv, his wife Mona, son Tony and grandchildren Lauren and Jonathan at the Science Center.
A native of Los Angeles, Marv Elkin was born at White Memorial Hospital in East Los Angeles and raised about three miles from Exposition Park.
For more than five decades, Marv worked as a top executive at Northrop Grumman. Marv’s involvement with the Science Center began with a request from his employer to serve on the California Science Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees. What first began as an obligation grew into a passion.
Since 1991, Marv has dedicated countless hours to the Science Center as a Trustee, a community advocate and as a supporter through both outright contributions and planned giving. Marv served as Chairman of the Science Center’s Board of Trustees and currently serves as a Vice Chair on the California Science Center Foundation Campaign Committee.
He and his wife Mona are actively involved with several not-for-profit institutions in Los Angles, though the Science Center is where they began their philanthropic careers. Marv’s approach to giving has grown with his understanding of how to help the Science Center’s mission. He came to see a planned gift as the most practical way to help the Science Center sustain itself into the future.
“I think it’s an easy way to give, to take your will and to mark a place that says, ‘I want to leave something to the Science Center.’ More people should be aware that they can give in this way—it’s so easy.”
Marv and Mona bring their grandchildren to the Science Center often because everyone can have fun, himself included. “I love how the grandkids light up when they come here, and they come here a lot. In summer, we also make sure to take them to science camp, which they love. This is just a special place.”
When asked what drives his dedication for the Science Center, Marv refers to the mission of the Science Center to inspire science learning in all ages. “If we can stimulate one child that visits the California Science Center to become a great scientist who finds the cure for a major disease, then it’s all worth it.”
Born and raised in El Segundo, California, Patty Torres is a retired lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. For 32 years, she worked all over the county, from Malibu to West Hollywood, Lennox to Lomita.
As Patty neared retirement, she wanted to set up her assets in a way that would let her manage them on her own. At a financial seminar, Patty was first introduced to the idea of forming a charitable remainder trust, and was impressed with the way it allowed her to control where her money would go once she passed away.
“Part of developing an estate plan is looking at it in a tax-wise manner. And I asked myself, how could my money do the most good, and be spared the most taxes?”
Her introduction to the California Science Center was as a guest to the 2005 California State Science Fair’s VIP Luncheon, hosted by Governor George Deukmejian. Patty was immediately impressed by the scope of accomplishments at the Science Center, and upon forming her trust, decided to designate the Science Center as one of her beneficiaries. Since that time, Patty has regularly attended the annual State Science Fair and the Science Matters program, volunteered at the Science Center, and has become a member of The MUSES, a support organization of the California Science Center.
What impressed Patty the most was the California Science Center’s 25-year, three-phased plan to expand the Science Center into a world-class science learning institution at the heart of a revitalized Exposition Park.
“It’s doing a great job of fulfilling its long-term plan. I was really inspired by the future for the Science Center and Exposition Park, and felt privileged to be a part of these long-term goals. And once this 25-year plan is completed, I’m sure they’ll keep on going.”
Patty is certain that a planned gift was the best way she could give to the Science Center. “I didn’t know anything about planned giving before I attended that seminar. Many people are not aware that a planned gift can be a great way to manage your assets and contribute to charity. I manage my own trust, and this is a simple way to give a substantial charitable gift to the Science Center.”