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Widow Boosts Income and Helps Honor Late Husband

Widow Boosts Income and Helps Honor Late Husband

Virginia George has achieved two goals with one savvy investment decision: by establishing a charitable gift annuity at Berry, she has boosted her rate of return and has honored her late husband's memory in a way that would please him most.

"It's an excellent investment," said Mrs. George, the widow of Ralph T. George (40C). "My money market is paying less than 2 percent. However, with this gift annuity through Berry, my rate of return is 8 percent. You can't get that anywhere today. And besides, what could be a better investment than education? Someone other than the bank benefits, and hopefully, one day that student will help someone else. That's why we give to education. I just want people to know this gift comes with love from Ralph."

In the late 1980s, the Georges established the first of several charitable gift annuities with Berry. A charitable gift annuity is simply a contract between a donor and Berry that says in exchange for irrevocable gifts of cash, securities or other assets, Berry will pay one or two beneficiaries a fixed income each year for life. The payments are based on age and are guaranteed by the general resources of Berry College Inc. In most cases, part of each payment is tax free.

Proceeds from this recent annuity will one day support a scholarship fund the couple established in memory of their late daughter. "When our oldest daughter died, we wanted to do something significant in her memory," Mrs. George said. "Since we believed in investing in something that has long-term benefits, we chose to invest in education." After his death in 2002, Mr. George's name was added, making it the Ralph T. and Kittye Lynn George Endowed Scholarship Fund.

For Mr. George, the Berry motto, "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister," was a way of life. For example, while a student at Berry he served as senior class president and teacher of the Log Cabin Sunday School. Later, in his role as director of psychological services at the Tennessee Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Nashville, Tenn., he advocated for residents' rights and worked to secure their total welfare. Even in his personal life he served, most notably as a volunteer missionary traveling to Brazil, Argentina, Japan and Australia, and as a ham radio operator providing both statewide emergency communication capabilities and communication for the annual Tennessee and Nashville Special Olympics for three decades.

And he found ways to minister to Berry and its students. He served as a member of the Berry Alumni Council and was the reunion chairman for his class. He was also a regular at Alumni Work Week, missing only one year and that was due to a family illness. In addition to being a faithful donor himself, he often wrote letters and called alumni asking them to support Berry.


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