Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2007

Members at the 2007 OWA Retreat at Westerbeke Ranch

IAWA and Sigrid's Bequest

by Lisa Kleissner
Dear Fellow OWA Members:

At our recent gathering in Sonoma, I shared the story of Lucy Berman and my efforts to come to an agreement with the IAWA and Virginia Tech (VT) regarding Sigrid's generous bequest of $1,000,000. Lucy and I were named co-trustees of Sigrid's estate when she died 3 years ago. Lucy and I worked with Donna Dunay and several attorneys representing VT for almost 3 years to develop an agreement which in the end VT would not sign. That agreement is attached to this e-mail. We were left with no other choice than to return to the probate court and ask to have the IAWA removed from the list of beneficiaries.

The court agreed with us and VT has chosen not to contest the ruling. However, Sigrid, in anticipation of providing this bequest to the IAWA, made the IAWA the beneficiary of an IRA account that has a balance of approximately $323,000. Because the IRA was not part of the trust, and not subject to the ruling of the probate court, it will go to the IAWA. The money will be transferred to the IAWA shortly. We are concerned that these funds will end up in the Virginia Tech Foundation and the IAWA may not have any say as to how these funds are used.

We believe that a letter from you could make a significant difference in how the IAWA and VT manage these funds to benefit the IAWA. So we are asking you to please write a letter to the president of Virginia Tech, Charles Steger, and to the president of the IAWA Board, Donna Dunay, asking them to do the right thing and sign this agreement showing their commitment to honor Sigrid's bequest intentions. Following are their e-mail addresses:

Charles Steger
Donna Dunay, President, IAWA Board

We would appreciate being copied on any letters.
Thank you for your help.

Lisa Kleissner and Lucy Berman Trustees,
Sigrid Lorenzen Rupp Trust

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