Dick Spezzano and his wife, Carole, consider themselves doubly lucky. They have not been personally touched by cancer and they have had the good fortune to be touched deeply by their involvement with City of Hope. “It’s easy to appreciate what City of Hope does,” says Dick. “You see the results in lives saved.”
In the early days of his involvement with the Southern California Food Industries Circles, Dick contributed his time to City of Hope. As his appreciation for City of Hope — and his income — grew, he expanded his commitment to include fundraising. “At first, our industry was happy if we raised $20,000 for City of Hope. Now we’re raising close to $1 million annually,” he says, proudly.
“Carole and I believe in City of Hope,” Dick adds. “We’ve visited the campus numerous times and we both give blood and platelets. We’ve also looked closely at City of Hope’s financial reports. When you see how much money goes to support programs that help people — and not to administration — it’s really impressive.”
Carole, who has been by Dick’s side every step of the way, echoes his sentiments. “All our married lives, I’ve been a strong supporter of Dick and his work on behalf of City of Hope,” she says.
That is why the Spezzanos have stepped forward to lead the Southern California Food Industries Circle as part of the Industry Challenge to benefit City of Hope. The Spezzanos’ financial goal was to preserve their current assets. “We realized that when we die, we want our assets to make a difference,” Dick says. “So we considered a provision in our estate that would transfer funds to City of Hope at the death of the second spouse. Then we talked with our CPA, and he suggested that we might want to do something now, instead of waiting. With a charitable gift annuity, we could have it all — an attractive return and lower taxes — in addition to helping City of Hope.
“Each of us is in a different position financially and in our lives,” Dick continues, “but Americans are good about giving back to the organizations they’ve been involved with. I hope Southern California Food Industries Circle supporters will consider making a similar estate commitment to City of Hope.”