The George Crile Sr. Award is named for the first president of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Established in 2003, it is given annually to a Pyramid Legacy Society member for extraordinary service, commitment and contributions to the mission and people of Cleveland Clinic.
Margaret Whittemore (2010)
Margaret Whittemore chose to include Cleveland Clinic in her estate plans both in memory of her beloved husband, Bill, and in appreciation for the care he received at Cleveland Clinic.
When the couple had trouble obtaining a timely consultation with a surgeon in their hometown, they traveled to Cleveland Clinic, where Bill underwent heart bypass surgery. His treatment allowed them to enjoy additional, high-quality time together.
Through her bequest to advance heart research at Cleveland Clinic, Mrs. Whittemore can make a gift in the future without altering her current standard of living. “My little bit seems like nothing, but little bits mount up to big ones,” she says.
Tom Kay (2009)
After retirement, Tom and Margaret Kay moved from Ohio to Florida, making frequent trips to their native England. On one such trip in the early 1990s, Margaret was hospitalized for heart problems and complications of diabetes.
Knowing Cleveland Clinic’s reputation for heart care, the couple transferred Margaret stateside, where she was admitted to Cleveland Clinic and recovered from her health crisis. They soon became staunch supporters.
Though Margaret passed away in 2002, Mr. Kay has remained steadfast in his commitment to Cleveland Clinic and its Department of Endocrinology. "There will always be something in my heart for Cleveland Clinic,” he said.
Chuck Clark (2008)
“Cleveland Clinic and I grew up together,” says Chuck Clark, who was raised just a few blocks from the hospital’s original site. “I rode past it every day on my paper route.”
Since retiring in 2003 from a successful career managing rental property, Mr. Clark has spent most of his time traveling, visiting every U.S. state, Canadian province and most of Europe.
Mr. Clark established charitable gift annuities by donating real estate to Cleveland Clinic, which allows him to enjoy income from the properties without the responsibility of managing them.
“I would encourage others to give this way,” says Mr. Clark. “A charitable gift annuity not only to helped Cleveland Clinic, but also myself — both economically and spiritually. I wish I had done it sooner.”
Marjorie and Howard Fosler (2007)
For more than 45 years, Marjorie and Howard Fosler have faithfully supported Cleveland Clinic. Their annual gifts help fund areas of greatest need and they established a charitable gift annuity to benefit cardiology programs.
After spending 30 years at the Wyatt Company, an actuarial firm, in a job that involved taking care of employees and their health benefits, Mr. Fosler and his wife chose to continue helping others by supporting work at Cleveland Clinic.
“We looked to Cleveland Clinic to both keep us healthy and help others stay healthy with our gifts,” Mrs. Fosler says.
The couple have also supported diabetes research and arthritis pain management.
“Over the years, we have formed a long relationship with the staff at Cleveland Clinic,” said Mr. Fosler. “I’ve received powerful solutions for hearing problems and am regularly checked by cardiologists. We want to support these doctors.”
Rose Mary Kubik (2006)
In 2003, Rose Mary Kubik established a fellowship to further stroke research in honor of two of her sisters who suffered strokes. But she didn't stop there. The ardent Cleveland Clinic supporter went on to establish gift annuities for nine of her nieces and nephews.
"I was inspired to donate because I’ve seen first-hand how devastating strokes can be to the patient as well as the patient’s family," she said. "I wanted to contribute something so that other families will not suffer the same," she said.
Her gift annuities benefit stoke research, while guaranteeing annual payments for life for these family members once they near retirement.
Josephine M. Haywood (2005)
Ohio native Josephine Haywood spent many years volunteering at Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital. Whether crocheting hats for young chemotherapy patients or playing pattycake through glass isolation room doors, she was determined to bring joy to those little lives.
Though she and her late husband, Harry, traveled the globe, they wanted their legacy to remain close to home.
“I needed to know my estate would go someplace where my heart is,” she said.
Mrs. Haywood’s generous gifts and annuities have benefited Cleveland Clinic's Department of Colorectal Surgery and Children’s Hospital.
Jack J. Belcher (2004)
Jack Belcher is associated with some of Cleveland Clinic’s most compassionate initiatives, including the Palliative Medicine Program, where he actively served on the advisory board and to which he made a generous bequest.
An advocate for The Helping Hands Program, which provides assistance to children with complex medical conditions and their families, he also helped inaugurate “Camp Connect,” a summer program for bereaved children.
Mr. Belcher’s philanthropic work builds on his passion as an educator and humanitarian. A clinical psychologist, he spent 30 years as an administrator in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Bruce and Virginia Chaney (2004)
Bruce and Virginia Chaney‘s family association with Cleveland Clinic dates back to 1929, when Mrs. Chaney’s mother was treated by George W. Crile Sr., MD, one of the four founders of Cleveland Clinic.
Continuing the long affiliation, the couple established the first endowed chair in the Cole Eye Institute, the E. Bruce and Virginia R. Chaney Chair for Ophthalmology Research and Education. They were also ardent supporters of Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Mr. Chaney served on the boards of the Cleveland Society of the Blind and the Kolff Foundation, which sponsors of home dialysis treatment. In the 1970s, he was instrumental in Cleveland Clinic’s acquisition of the former Physicians and Surgeons Building at 10300 Carnegie Avenue.
Melvin Burkhardt (2003)
Melvin and Rose Ella Burkhardt were charter members of the Pyramid Legacy Society. When Rose Ella was battling a brain tumor, the Burkhardt's chose to establish a chair in her name to benefit brain tumor research.
In 2003, Mr. Burkhardt made an estate commitment to establish a second chair — the Melvin H. Burkhardt Endowed Chair for Neuro-Oncology Clinical Research — in memory of Rose Ella and in honor of Gene Barnett, MD, PhD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center.
His philanthropic interests also included the Cole Eye Institute and Cleveland Clinic Florida, where he endowed yet a third chair.
"It gives me a good feeling to know that Cleveland Clinic patients — for years and years to come — will benefit from these endowments,” said Mr. Burkhardt. “A chair is an investment in the future.”