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Donor Stories

Donor Stories
  • Dr. Ed Elson and Frances Elson

    Dr. Ed Elson and Frances Elson
    Frances vividly remembers how happy she and Ed were to find a symphony orchestra in Ventura when they arrived in 1971. Concerts at the time were held at Ventura High School, and later at the performing arts center in Oxnard. This became an important part of the Elson's cultural life, and the formation of the New West Symphony was a milestone in that history. With Ed's passing in 2021, Fran was reminded of the importance of classical music for Ed, and how she felt his presence at each concert she attended. "It's an honor for me to be able to join the NWS Legacy Society, as a way of promoting classical music and preserving Ed's legacy!" More

  • Dr. Stuart and Barbara Bloom

    Dr. Stuart & Barbara Bloom - Estate Gift
    Dr. Stuart and Barbara Bloom (pictured left with cellist, Amanda Forsyth, and violinist and conductor Pinchas Zuckerman) have childhood memories and significant life events that are beautifully intertwined with New West Symphony. Starting the violin at age 6, Stuart went on to play for the University of Michigan as concertmaster for the Gilbert and Sullivan Orchestra. Barbara's mother Fay and her Aunt Evelyn ensured she attended young people's concerts, symphonies, and ballet from a young age to become a knowledgeable appreciator of symphonic music, dance, and opera. Stuart and Barbara's courtship began later in life and their dates often included New West Symphony concerts and fundraising events through an introduction by friend and NWS board member at the time, Leah Mendelsohn. Together, Stuart and Barbara enhanced their joy of music and became season ticket holders. More

  • Lisa & Alan Baker

    Lisa & Alan Baker - Living Trust
    Lisa and Alan Baker have made it a priority to "spread the word" about supporting New West Symphony wherever they go. They practice what they preach having both served in volunteer roles for the past 10-15 years. Lisa recalls helping with hospitality as a league member at the "Meet the Artist" gatherings and posting flyers at libraries and senior centers. Alan continues to serve on the Symphony's Finance committee after an initial introduction by his friend and former Treasurer Harry Croner. As season ticket holders, they love sharing their concert experiences at dinner time with friends at University Village - marveling at the innovation of the latest performance, grateful to have a premier culturally enriching option so accessible to them... More

  • Patricia A. Jones

    Patricia A. Jones - IRA Beneficiary Gift
    Patricia has enjoyed combining her professional life with a love for the performing arts for close to thirty years since New West Symphony started in 1995. As the owner of Home Helpers and lover of symphonic music, her husband George was among the original board members she first met in her role as CEO for the Alliance for the Arts. Ever since, they have shared a lifelong commitment to the arts. Patricia's enthusiasm and respect for New West Symphony grew during her time with the Alliance from 1996-2010 when she often collaborated to ensure community support was spread among local performing arts organizations. She had a great respect for the Symphony's role in lifting an entire community up by offering access to a local professional orchestra... More

  • Joanna Wullshleger

    Joanna Wullschleger - Life Insurance Beneficiary
    After attending a reception announcing the new Legacy Society, Joanna was so happy to learn of a way to demonstrate her gratitude for having New West Symphony in her life. She immediately expressed a desire to join, called her pension administrator to change her life insurance beneficiary and sent in her paperwork to New West Symphony. In her words, "I loved being season ticket holders with my husband years ago and the excitement of the Symphony led by Boris Brott. Now, in my later years, I enjoy what Michael Christie is doing for our community. It is simply amazing... More

  • close-up photo of Joseph Sohm & Leslie Plimpton

    Joseph Sohm & Leslie Plimpton - Living Trust
    Coming from entirely different backgrounds and perspectives, music and performing arts have had a significant influence on the lives of Joe and Leslie as has the New West Symphony. In his college years, Joe pursued a degree in American History and became an American history teacher-turned photo historian. Joe has always had an appreciation for music playing in Rock and Roll bands. Over the past forty years, he has taken his passion for history and photography across 50 states to eventually combine a love of storytelling and visual arts with music performed by New West Symphony in a highly successful collaboration. Joe continues to collaborate with NWS as a Visual Artist-in-Residence, reprising the original production with new images and musical score. Leslie uniquely came to appreciate music over a period of 25 years as a trained classical ballet dancer. She finds that her affection for symphonic music has deepened over time, enjoying new musical styles as well as classical favorites performed by NWS and guest artists. Now, the couple comes together in their mutual passion for the Symphony in creating a legacy gift that will allow others to find as much pleasure as they have... More

  • Dr. Paul Finkel

    Dr. Paul Finkel - Estate Gift/Trust
    Dr. Paul Finkel has had a long-time association with New West Symphony as an extraordinarily generous steward of music. A devoted board member and past president, Paul has served in several leadership roles utilizing his expertise and passion for the arts to accomplish his vision to make music accessible to all. Exposed to symphonic music at an early age, at home and in school, is at the root of Paul's mission to make sure young children have the same opportunities he had growing up... More

  • Nancy Israel

    Nancy Israel - Estate Gift
    "It all started with my late husband, Bill. A kind, generous, talented man who after retiring from a successful law career in his 80s, rediscovered a childhood passion for performing on the piano." Nancy recalls fondly Bill sharing his joy for music with her and his dream to one-day serve on the board of a symphony orchestra... More


Gift Examples
  • Bequests
    Joe and Anna have been faithful supporters of our organization over the years. Both of them strongly believe that it is important to support and encourage our mission.
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  • Tax-Free Sale
    Howard and Lynn were age 55 when they purchased some land outside of town, and they thought it would be a good investment that they could later sell.
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  • IRA Bequest
    Margaret recently retired from her job as a librarian. She had been an active volunteer and supporter of her favorite charity for many years...
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  • Capital Gains Tax Bypassed
    Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities.
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  • Sale and Unitrust
    Gene and Carol purchased stock in a small medical service company several years ago. Now, Gene and Carol are looking for a way to save taxes.
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  • The Retirement Unitrust
    Mary grew up on a farm. When her parents passed away, she inherited the farm. Now, several developers would like to build homes on the farmland.
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  • An Easy Way to Help Our Work with Your IRA
    Daniel was a retired businessman who volunteered for our organization. When we decided to add a new program, he was excited to help in a significant way.
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  • Property Turns Into Income
    Miranda lived in the family home where she and her spouse had raised their children. After her spouse passed, Miranda found it increasingly difficult to care for her home.
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  • Part Gift and Part Sale
    Susan and Kevin bought their first home many years ago. They had planned to build a second home so that their children could spend their summers along the lake.
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  • Current Gifts
    As is the case with many families, there are times each year when Jim and Sharon focus their attention on gift giving.
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  • A Bequest to Further Good Work
    Nancy and David were dedicated volunteers. Over the years, they had seen many individuals helped by the good work of their favorite charity.
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  • A Bequest to Save Taxes
    Thomas was a widower who had a great love for our organization. As an individual who had directly benefited from our work.
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  • Leading for the Future
    Luke and Candice spent many years volunteering and supporting their favorite charity. They wanted to give back in a way that would help fulfill its mission.
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  • Give it Twice Trust
    While visiting the Wills Planner on her favorite charity's website, June, a surviving spouse, came across the idea of a Give it Twice Trust.
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  • Providing for Our Children's Future
    Joe and Kathy worked for years building their nest egg for retirement. They also want to provide for their children.
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  • IRA Rollover: A Gift with Substantial Benefits
    Gary was a retired attorney with a significant IRA and substantial income from investments. He had made IRA rollover gifts in the past three years to his favorite charity and knew the benefits.
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