Ramon Alonso, PhD
In this issue of Faces of the Foundation, it is my pleasure to feature Ramon Alonso, PhD, who has served on the Foundation Board. Ramon was married to Anne Alonso, PhD, CGP, DLFAGPA, our beloved Past President and Past Chairwoman of the Group Foundation. Though Ramon isn’t a group therapist, he has a PhD in applied mathematics (he is now retired).
Through Anne, we began to know and love Ramon. He was there to support Anne in all the work and time that she devoted to AGPA and the Group Foundation, and along the way, he developed some wonderful friendships. After Anne’s passing, he came on the Group Foundation Board and remained committed to the organizations. We were pleased to keep his friendship.
Anne and Ramon were one of the first Founder’s Circle and Legacy Society members by creating a Charitable Gift Annuity and have certainly served as role models in shaping the culture of giving that has grown in our organization. I asked Ramon if he would be willing to share some of his thoughts and experiences about establishing the Annuity. In his wonderfully generous spirit, he responded with an immediate “yes” and sent me the following:
“About 14 or so years ago, Anne and I decided to make a major gift to AGPA. Over the years, we had been giving money as a direct gift, whatever amount we were comfortable with, but we learned about Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT), which lets you give away the cake while preserving the taste. A CRT would give a steady percentage (based on our age), something like 5%, yearly, with the bulk of the gift (growing, depending on the vagaries of the economy and the stock market) going to the Foundation upon our death. Anne, alas, died shortly thereafter (10 years ago!), but we were both happy with the arrangement, and I have been happy to leave something concrete for AGPA to build on. AGPA was most important for Anne, and for me now, keeping her memory alive. For us, this was as close as we could get to taking it with us.”
I found Ramon’s comment on how their donation was “keeping her memory alive” very moving. This is the heart of a legacy gift. Beyond the generosity of the gift, it was clear that Ramon gave Anne support for her enormous commitment to AGPA. Ramon is a great example of the many husbands, wives, and partners who have supported the interests of their significant other.
On the practical side, Ramon also commented, that he didn’t know why more people didn’t use this alternative to making charitable contributions because it made so much financial sense. I take this comment very seriously because Ramon is one really smart guy.
As an organization we are very lucky to have Ramon Alonso as a part of our AGPA community. He brings his strong intellect, his big heart, his generous spirit, and his wicked sense of humor with him. Thank you for all that you have given us Ramon in so many ways.