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National NOW Times >> Summer 2002 >> Article

Extraordinary Gifts Expand Reach of NOW Foundation

by Liz Gilchrist, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Thanks to two very generous donors, the NOW Foundation is gearing up to play an even more active role on behalf of women and girls in this country.

Member's Foresight Boosts NOW Foundation's Public Policy Efforts

We are grateful to the late June Cason Mayer, a member and sustaining contributor to NOW's Equality Action Fund, who passed away on June 25, 2001 in Lakewood, Ohio. Mayer, who graduated from Wesleyan College with a degree in chemistry in 1954, spent her working life in chemical laboratory and technical information assignments with several large chemical companies. She was also active in many Cleveland cultural, arts and civic organizations.

Following her retirement in 1992, Mayer decided to transfer many of the assets she had accumulated over the years to a charitable remainder trust. This allowed Mayer to both enjoy regular income for the rest of her lifetime and to make a substantial gift to organizations she cared about at the time of her death.

She became a member of NOW's Visionary Circle, a group of devoted feminists who are ensuring the future of our movement by including NOW or NOW Foundation in their estate planning or life insurance.

As a result of Mayer's thoughtfulness and foresight, the NOW Foundation has received a final gift from her of more than $290,000. This very generous sum will be put to good use in a variety of ways. We intend to add a new legislative and policy analyst position to the NOW Foundation staff, which will substantially enhance our effectiveness in advocating good public policy decisions in Washington, as well as increase our ability to provide education, training and materials to advocates at the state and local level.

These funds will also be critical to defending the nationwide injunction we won in NOW v. Scheidler, which prohibits violent interference with the rights of women to choose abortion services and the rights of clinics and their staff to provide those services.

The anti-abortion groups NOW sued have appealed our landmark victory to the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time, and the Foundation, which represents NOW in the litigation, will dedicate whatever resources are necessary to ensure that this important reproductive rights protection is maintained.

Anonymous Gift Will Elevate, Expand Love Your Body Day

Another NOW Foundation project has received a large vote of confidence from a generous supporter. We are very grateful to that donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, for making a gift of $80,000 to support the Love Your Body Day campaign of the Women's Health Project.

Love Your Body Day is an annual event designed to bring together women and girls around the country to send the message that offensive, disrespectful and unhealthy images of women in advertising and the media are not acceptable.

With this selfless donation, the NOW Foundation will be able to reach out to more girls, teens and young women than ever before regarding these critical health issues.

If you would like to explore ways that you too could use your assets to further the mission and important work of the NOW Foundation, we are here to help!

Please contact Liz Gilchrist, Gift Planning Director, at the NOW Action Center to discuss your ideas and plans. Liz can be reached by phone at 202-628-8669, ext. 112, or by email. You can also send her a letter at NOW, 733 15th Street, NW, 2nd floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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