We don't have children of our own. We do, however, have another way to make a lasting legacy for the betterment of mankind.
That concern for future generations has inspired Leonard and Shirley Sterling to support the Health Science CenterŐs department of ophthalmology with a $25,000 charitable gift annuity establishing the Leonard and Shirley Sterling Endowment for Biochemistry Research of the Eye. The funds will insure continuing research into the causes and the eventual cure of diseases of the eye.
How did they choose the Health Science CenterŐs department of ophthalmology?
"We attended the opening of the Robert F. McDermott Clinical Science Building in October 1991, "Leonard Sterling said. "Because of our involvement with the Lions, we wanted to celebrate the opening of the Lions Sight Research Center on the fourth floor of the McDermott Building."
"We were quite impressed with the quality of the work being done at the Health Science Center. We have a real commitment to education and medical research and the Health Science Center is doing impressive things on both fronts, " Sterling added.
The Sterlings chose the charitable gift annuity, a method of giving that is becoming increasingly popular. The donors receive an immediate charitable deduction for the gift portion of the annuity as well as a quarterly income during their lifetimes; part of the income payable to the donors is tax-free, and part is taxed as ordinary income. For the Sterlings, this means increased retirement income with the added benefit of supporting worthwhile scientific research at the Health Science Center.
The Sterlings are also pleased to be giving something back to the San Antonio community in which they have made their home for nearly half a century.
More than 40 years ago, after taking a course in income tax preparation, Sterling opened a tax preparation service on Commerce Street. He remembers that the average fee for tax preparation back then was $2; for a complicated one, $5! The first client who walked into Sterling's office more than 40 years ago has remained his client to this day.
The Sterlings have been around the world 12 times and have visited every country in the world. In 1980, Sterling received the Ambassador of Goodwill Award, the highest honor that the International Association of Lions Clubs can bestow on one of its members.
"I can't think of any areas more important for the future than education and medical research, "Mrs. Sterling said. "It means a lot to us to know that the gifts we are able to make now will benefit people for so many years to come."
"After all, we'd all like to be remembered long after we're gone," she added with a smile.
"We're not looking for prominence; we just want to leave something to humanity," he said.
Leonard and Shirley Sterling, you've done just that- and the Health Science Center appreciates you.
For more information on gift annuities or other planned giving opportunities, please contact Joseph F. Teague Jr., Director of Development, Office of University Relations, (210) 567-2056