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The Michael A. Hughes Planned Giving Society

Hughes Family
Members of the Hughes Family (from left to right): Robert, Mike, Helen, Greg, Mary Abel, Laurie Paternoster, and Jack.

Of all the decisions we've made at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, none was easier than the decision to unite our planned giving donors into a community named for Michael A. Hughes. Mike was a rare and passionate ally, mentor, and supporter.

He came to us more than 20 years ago, both heartbroken and motivated by the accident that left his son Greg paralyzed. Mike wanted to turn the family's pain into positive, productive action, giving everything they could to strengthen this organization and advance spinal cord research.


Volunteering his time and business expertise, Mike helped to put the Foundation on a solid strategic and financial footing. When this was accomplished, he and his wife, Helen, continued their deep involvement. Over time, Mike and his family kept close watch on the Foundation's progress through the scientific strength of its Individual Research Grants Program and the innovative thrust of its International Research Consortium.

Then in 1999, something incredible happened. Shortly after the Reeve Foundation's annual fundraising gala, A Magical Evening, Mike, and his son Jack, both of whom had joined our Board of Directors, and the entire Hughes family made a magnificent gift that enabled the Foundation to significantly expand its research program. No person, no family, no foundation, no corporation, not even the United States Government, has been more generous to the Reeve Foundation than the Hughes family. And that generosity continues to this day.

Mike passed away in 2007, but he leaves a legacy and imprint beyond measure, and two of his sons are carrying on where their father left off: Jack has a leadership role on our Board, and Greg is Chair of our New England Chapter Steering Committee. To honor Mike's generous, caring spirit, his name endures – etched in our hearts and on the community of other generous individuals who take that very special step of including the Reeve Foundation in their investment and estate plans.

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Become a member of the Michael A. Hughes Planned Giving Society
When loyal supporters like you make a bequest or other estate gift, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is not only immediately fortified, but assured of future funding that will continue to make advances for the care and cure of those effected by paralysis. An estate gift also helps facilitate important strategic planning and provides a reliable source of income that will sustain our vital work and essential programs for many years to come.

What is your estate?
Your personal estate is the sum of your assets, including real estate and all other property you own, insurance policies, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, cash on hand, etc. Regardless of your social status — whatever your family and financial situation — there are many flexible, affordable ways to plan an estate gift that will have a profound impact for generations to come on the people and causes like ours that are closest to your heart. If every adult in America made a will and included even a small charitable bequest, billions of critical dollars would be available every year to support worthy charitable causes and improve other people's lives.

There are many ways to leave a legacy to the Reeve Foundation and become a member of our esteemed Michael A. Hughes Planned Giving Society. Please join this very special group of donors and leave a personal legacy to the Reeve Foundation today.

Common types of charitable planned gifts
There are various types of bequests. A charitable bequest can be a sum of money, a specific item of property (such as real estate, an automobile, or a particular type of asset, such as stocks, bonds, art or coin collections, other appreciated assets, etc.) that is given to a specific charity as the beneficiary. A popular type of charitable bequest is made by simply leaving a specified dollar amount to the Reeve Foundation in one's will or trust. For example, "I hereby give, devise and bequeath (insert exact dollar amount) to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation."

Another popular way to make a charitable bequest is to designate particular assets or property. For example, "I hereby give, devise and bequeath (identify the asset or property, such as my XYZ stock, my home, etc.) to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation."

A contingent charitable bequest can be made to the Reeve Foundation if an alternate beneficiary named in your trust or will, such as a particular friend or family member, were to be deceased.

A bequest also can be expressed as a percentage of one's estate or residuary estate. A residuary bequest may augment a general or specific bequest to the beneficiary and can be either all, or a fractional portion of, one's entire estate after all other bequests and lawful debts, taxes and expenses have been paid. For example, "I hereby give, devise and bequeath (insert desired percentage such as 100%, 50%, 20%, etc.) of all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation."

Beneficiary designations
Did you know you do not need a will and do not need to change an existing will to make a charitable beneficiary designation? You can simply name the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as a beneficiary of your private and/or employer sponsored life insurance policy or policies. You may also name the Reeve Foundation as a beneficiary of any retirement account(s), such as an IRA, KEOGH, 401(k), 401(b), or other, savings, brokerage, annuity or retirement account. To designate the Reeve Foundation as a beneficiary of these types of accounts, simply request the appropriate beneficiary designation form from your employer, insurance company, bank or broker and provide them with the following information:

Beneficiary Name: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Beneficiary's Address: 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills, NJ 07078
Beneficiary Phone Number: 800-225-0292
Tax ID# of Beneficiary: 22-2939536

Call us or email us today
Our Planned Giving Team would be delighted to answer your questions and assist you with your estate planning needs. To ensure that your wishes and intentions are carried out, however, we recommend you seek professional advice from a licensed legal and/or financial advisor.

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Download our Planned Giving brochure

If you already have been so generous to include the Foundation in your estate planning, please let us know by completing this short form. We want to make sure and recognize you as a member of the Michael A. Hughes Planned Giving Society.

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Read more about our donors
Richard Coker

Richard A. Coker
Rick Coker was a very generous man. He was always eager to help and wanted to do as much for others as he possibly could. Rick helped many people during his lifetime, and it was no surprise that he had planned a generous legacy to a cause that became very close to his family and their hearts.
Read more about Richard.

Gladys Field

Gladys Field
Gladys Field was a homemaker her entire life but when her husband Norman died in 1991 she took over the family finances. She had worked as a mathematician during World War II and seemed to have a knack for investments. Before she died in 2009 at the age of 88, Gladys made arrangements to leave several legacy investments.
Read more about Gladys.

Evelyn Costello Marineau Lamont

Evelyn Costello Marineau Lamont
Evelyn Costello Marineau Lamont's bequest to the Reeve Foundation came as no surprise to her family - living the last 17 years of her life in a wheelchair after a car accident, Evelyn followed Christopher's story closely. She was inspired by his persistent search for a cure, the stand he took for those suffering from spinal cord injury, and his selfless devotion to helping those similarly situated.
Read more about Evelyn.

John McConnell

John McConnell
When John McConnell and his fellow Reeve Board member, Matthew Reeve, ran the 2009 New York City Marathon, they pushed through the last half dozen miles by thinking about all the people who were supporting them and who helped get them to that point. Matthew, says John, "sailed to the end with a smile on his face."
Read more about John.

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Continue Christopher Reeve's LegacyPhoto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders