Simple but Significant
Bequest Benefits Countless Children
Mary Ann Ford was incredibly inspired by Le Bonheur's absolute and unconditional delivery of world-class services to children in the community. She was proud of her association with Le Bonheur until her death in 2010, and for this reason she named the hospital a specific beneficiary under her will.
"Mom was very glad to be an integral part of an organization that did so much work and helped so many children in her community," her oldest son, Price Ford, says. "She was always a true matriarch for Le Bonheur."
A former president of the Le Bonheur Club (1978-1979), Mary Ann served on various Club committees, including the Gold Tag drive. Price and Mott, Mary Ann's younger son, remember boxes of gold tags all over their house during Mary Ann's year to lead the group's largest fundraising effort at that time.
Perhaps one reason Mary Ann was such a stalwart for Le Bonheur is because she had learned firsthand about the Club's volunteer efforts during the time Mott, then a toddler, developed severe asthma and was hospitalized at Le Bonheur.
"I spent a lot of time at Le Bonheur and remember the work the Club members did [when Mott was ill]," she said in a 1978 newspaper story announcing her presidency of the Club. "Volunteerism is just so important to any community. I think our community would be in very sad shape without us to meet the needs of so many institutions. Volunteers can instigate and carry through a number of programs that would never be completed if people had to be paid to do them."
A Passion for Children
Mary Ann's love of children and her volunteer spirit, along with the fact that she had many friends who were Le Bonheur Club members, led her to become active in the philanthropic and social organization. It was certainly natural for her to turn her passion into a calling. Her favorite job was pushing the Club's craft cart and library cart room to room, for it was the patient contact that Mary Ann craved and most loved about serving at the hospital.
When Mary Ann's granddaughter, Emily, was a patient at Le Bonheur in 2009, Mary Ann shared her recollections of Le Bonheur as the family visited during Emily's recovery from emergency hip surgery.
"As you would imagine, she was quick to tell all of us her stories regarding her early days at Le Bonheur and the wonderful people she knew and the friendships that blossomed as a result of her involvement there," Price says.
For Mary Ann, her family always came first, with Le Bonheur a close second. She also was a devoted and active member of Calvary Episcopal Church where she served in the vestry and enjoyed reading, traveling, playing mahjong and getting together with her "lunch bunch." She adored her companion dog, Daisy.
"Mother's gift to Le Bonheur says a lot about her and her priorities," Mott says. "Others before her gave in order that we might benefit and she felt she should do the same for future generations. She believed Memphis was fortunate to have the world-class resources of Le Bonheur and that the community should support it."
A Meaningful and Lasting Gift
Mary Ann Ford chose to continue her annual support of Le Bonheur beyond her lifetime through a bequest in her will. By making Le Bonheur one of her beneficiaries, she made many children her beneficiaries. These children will never know Mary Ann but their lives will be changed because of her.
A bequest is one of the simplest gifts. You may leave a specific dollar amount, specific assets or a portion of your estate to benefit Le Bonheur.
Please join Mary Ann and others who looked beyond the present and include Le Bonheur in your will so that Le Bonheur can continue to provide, as Mary Ann believed, absolute and unconditional delivery of world-class services to children.
For more information on bequest language and the benefits of a bequest, please contact Le Bonheur Foundation at 901-287-6308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.