A Couple Combines Financial Knowledge with Generous Instinct
It all began with a birthday present...
We first met Norman Lewis by telephone back in the fall of 1993. Calling from his home in California, Norman was planning a special party for his wife Loretta's birthday and wanted to surprise her with a scholarship in her name at Juilliard, which we were pleased and grateful to arrange. A mother and grandmother, Loretta had upheld both her family life and a singing career. The Lewises both loved music and opera and wanted to help young singers grow into accomplished performers.
Norman, retired from a successful career in the New York City's toy industry, wanted to make his gift in the most tax-efficient way possible, so we assisted with a contribution of appreciated stock to endow the Loretta Varon Lewis Scholarship in Voice. This was not to be the last time this couple combined a sophisticated understanding of finance with a generous instinct. To borrow a line from a famous film, this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Since their first gift, Norman and Loretta Lewis have grown to know and to love Juilliard. By coming to opera productions, master classes and other performances, to scholarship luncheons and other special events, they have gained a personal understanding of what it means to be a student at Juilliard. The Lewises also speak often of their admiration of Juilliard's president Joseph W. Polisi, and what they view as his exceptional leadership of the School.
"We began supporting Juilliard because of its dedication to excellence and the superb education it provides students in drama, music and dance," explains Lewis. "But over the years, hearing and seeing these young artists has become an inspiration and brings us great joy. We are delighted to be a part of the Juilliard family."
All of these factors converged in a deep desire to make a major contribution in support of the Juilliard Second Century Fund, and their second and very generous contribution used yet another savvy giving technique.
Norman Lewis decided to establish a charitable gift annuity (again with appreciated securities) and to apply the income he receives from the annuity to pay premiums on a new life insurance policy. The life insurance policy is in the same amount as the gift annuity and names his children beneficiary. Therefore, since the policy will pass directly to the Lewises' children - outside of estate probate - this major gift to Juilliard will not materially change their children's inheritance.
"Our involvement with Juilliard has become very important to Loretta and me," Norman said. "It is also an example to our children and grandchildren of the pleasure of giving and supporting others."