Gifts That Make A Difference!
Lee & Mildred Abend Classical Music and Performance Fund
The late Lee and Mildred Abend were loyal WPBT2 viewers. Since 1958 they enjoyed watching classical musical performances and WPBT2’s Nightly Business Report. A gift from their estate brought important financial support to their favorite Miami public television station creating the Lee & Mildred Abend Classical Music and Performance Fund in support of the station’s classical music programming.
Master Sergeant (ret) Abend, who played the French horn in the U.S. Marine Corps Band (also known as The President’s Band), was an avid listener of classical music. Mr. and Mrs. Abend retired to South Florida over 40 years ago. It was their wish to have part of their estate awarded to a program in support of orchestral classical music programming.
A Channel 2 Member Leaves Her Sole Asset to the Station—Her Home
Mrs. Irene Messer was a simple woman. After working as an executive secretary at law firms in New York, she and her husband Sidney, a former teacher, retired to Miami in the early 1970s.
The years passed and Sidney passed away. Irene became an active member of the Sisterhood of Beth David Congregation and the local chapter of Israel’s Teknion University until declining health left her homebound. During the final years of her life, WPBT2 was her source of culture and entertainment.
Irene wanted to show her appreciation to the station. Her only income was her monthly Social Security check, so she wasn’t able to make a large monetary contribution. But she had no heirs, so she had another idea. She instructed her attorney to draw up a will that made WPBT2 the beneficiary of her sole asset— her home. The proceeds from the sale of her home will perpetuate quality programming in the South Florida community she loved.
Jack Kahn, Director of Program Development, NBR Enterprises/WPBT2 said “I knew the Messers back in the 1980s when I lived in their area and was a fellow congregant at Beth David Congregation. Because I worked at WPBT2, they would tell me how much they enjoyed the station’s offerings. However, only after learning of Irene’s bequest a few months ago did I realize how much WPBT2 meant to them.”
Bequest from the Estate of Lucy Paul
Nishan and Lucy Paul moved to Miami in the 1950s from New England. They were classic New Englanders. They built a modest ranch house in what is today Pinecrest, which they oriented to the breezes so that they never used (or installed) air conditioning. Nishan worked as a mechanic at Pan American Airlines, and tended his garden. He used to say that he never planted anything that didn’t give back, so he had a wonderful yard full of mango and lychee trees, the fruit of which he picked at peak ripeness and watched carefully.
Nishan and Lucy were humanists. They did not have children; they carefully invested their funds and lived extremely frugal lives. Nishan died over twenty years ago but Lucy, who was sharp until the very end, lived to be 98 years old. In Mrs. Paul’s Will that was written twenty five years ago, she left half of her estate to a list of local charities, of which WPBT2 was one.
Bequests from the Estates of Else E. and Robert M. Lawton
Else and Robert Lawton supported WPBT2 from the 1970s. They traveled all over the world. As they grew older, they loved revisiting their favorite haunts while watching the many travel programs on WPBT2. They were also passionate about animals and enjoyed watching the Nature series. Bequests from their estates will ensure that travel and nature programs will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Marion Gendron was passionate about WPBT2. She and her husband, Henri, made many generous gifts throughout their marriage to WPBT2. After Dr. Gendron passed away, Marion decided to give WPBT2 her residence, but continued to enjoy its use for the rest of her life.
Annually, Mary Courim makes generous gifts to WPBT2’s Endowment, The Program Trust Fund. The endowment was established in 1981 and provides more than $1 million annually to support WPBT2 programs. Proceeds from the endowment allow WPBT2 to continue offering such notable PBS programs as Masterpiece Theatre, NOVA and Frontline as well as local programming initiatives.