FOR JOANNE BETHLAHMY, EDUCATION WAS THE KEY TO ACCESSING THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Joanne Bethlahmy’s wanderlust was ignited at age 11 when she traveled extensively with her family. In college, she explored the countries of Europe while earning a degree in history. A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, and Hastings College of Law, it was not lost on her that education allowed her to access the wonders and beauty of the world, and that the opportunities she had to learn and experience the world were often denied to children, especially girls, around the globe.
Joanne was passionate about opportunities for women, literacy and reading, and she focused her charitable giving in these areas. When she passed, she included a legacy gift to Room to Read, providing more than 16,000 students with essential literacy and education equality support. Joanne’s brilliance and passion live on in these students whose lives are forever improved by her generosity.
Special thanks to Pat Williams for sharing these lovely memories of her dear friend, Joanne Bethlahmy. Learn more on our blog: www.roomtoread.org/transformational-giving/legacy-giving
FORMER EDUCATOR DONATES ENTIRE ESTATE MARKING ROOM TO READ’S LARGEST LEGACY GIFT
Teacher. Librarian. Longtime supporter of girls’ education. All these words, and many more, describe Helen* of Wisconsin, who in 2021 donated her entire estate — worth more than US $4.6 million — to Room to Read as a legacy gift. In her life, Helen influenced young minds and hearts as a dedicated teacher and librarian in Wauwatosa. She spent her career sharing the joy of learning with her students and believed fervently in education for girls. It was this passion that led her to name Room to Read as her sole beneficiary. In early 2021, Helen passed away at the age of 84, investing the entirety of her estate in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program. This surprise gift was the largest legacy gift we have ever received, and her generosity will change the lives of more than 15,300 students in our Girls’ Education Program.
Learn more about how to create your legacy: www.roomtoread.org/transformational-giving/legacy-giving * Name changed to protect anonymity
LEGACY GIFTS SUPPORT EDUCATION FOR DECADES TO COME
“Working at Microsoft gave me the opportunity to be around so many smart people from all different walks of life. I quickly understood that education was the great leveler, so to deny someone an education because of their gender or where they were born, to limit their opportunity and potential in that way, was something I could not stand for.”
– Craig Herb, longtime supporter who has committed a legacy gift to Room to Read
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