Meet Our Donors

We are thankful for those who have made an estate gift to the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Here are their stories.

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Audience Spotlight: My Unexpected Connection With the Minnesota Orchestra

On a pleasant evening in the spring of 1983, I attended a performance by the Minnesota Orchestra at the College of St. Catherine. On the program was the Armenian Suite by Armenian-American composer Richard Yardumian. I had never heard it before, and I didn't know what to expect, but as the Orchestra performed it, I was completely captivated. The audience applause was vigorous, and I felt the strong desire to shout out "Play it again!" But logic prevailed and I kept my peace. At the third appearance of the conductor, onto the stage came the composer himself, Richard Yardumian! This was almost more than my heart could bear.

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Leaving a Legacy That Ensures Music for Generations to Come

As the Minnesota Orchestra continues to create meaningful ways to stay connected with its audience, it has the strong support of passionate and generous donors who have made the Orchestra a beacon of light to our community. Among them are those donors like Carole Wiederhorn, who has made an extra commitment to this remarkable ensemble, ensuring this light will continue for generations to come. Carole and other donors are among the Minnesota Orchestra’s Laureate Society, guarantors who have included the Orchestra in their estate plans through wills, living trusts, or other deferred gift vehicles.

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No Matter How Old You Are or Where You Live—The Minnesota Orchestra Can Be Part of Your Legacy

From this experience grew a special connection to the Orchestra which led Kristina to make it a beneficiary on a life insurance policy when she was only in her 20s. As Kristina explains, "It was the first time I had thought about where I wanted my money to go when I died, and I decided it was important that it be spent after my life in the same way it was during my life."

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Supporting and Sharing a Love of the Orchestra

Dr. Jerry Artz reflected on what mattered most to him when he created his estate plan—and he knew that music was essential. He explains: "I always fear that the arts may be the first to suffer funding cuts. Hopefully my future gift will maintain the high-quality Orchestra we now have." To achieve his goal while keeping his estate plan flexible, he structured his future gift to the Orchestra and other charities using percentages rather than fixed dollar amounts.

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Music Was Always a Priority for Orchestra Devotee

A strong connection to music drew Dr. Marion Welton to become acquainted with, and then dedicated to, the Minnesota Orchestra. She found a kindred soul in Dr. George Welton, who had also grown up singing. They frequented Minnesota Orchestra concerts and, after retiring to a cabin up north and a winter home in Hawaii, they made a point of spending weekends in Minneapolis so they could still hear the Orchestra.

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Music Lover's Legacy Gift Hits All the Right Notes:
George Grim's Estate Gift Helps to Cement a Solid Future for the Orchestra

George's appreciation of classical music and the Minnesota Orchestra can be traced to the symphony concerts his parents took him to when he was growing up in New York. Studying to be a concert pianist, he was good enough to perform in Carnegie Hall while quite young. He abandoned his plans to be a professional musician, longtime friend Dottie Dekko recalls, only when "he realized how much practicing it involved." Still, throughout his life he remained anaccomplished organist.

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A Moving Experience: Orchestra Performance Brings Service Memories to Mind for Retired Veteran

Like many donors, Jay Woldt has experienced more than one unforgettably moving performance at Orchestra Hall, and he is confident that the Orchestra's powerful performances will again be heard there long into the future. Thus he made the ultimate commitment to a nonprofit—a gift through his estate. "At this stage in my life," he noted, "I felt I could give back to the things that I have enjoyed for years."

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Mary Ann Feldman: Her Legacy and Her Gift

If you have been attending Minnesota Orchestra concerts for many years, you likely have fond memories of the late Mary Ann Feldman’s warm smile and gracious wit as a speaker, writer and advocate for the Minnesota Orchestra. Beginning in 1966, Mary Ann spent 33 years as the Orchestra’s program annotator. Adored and revered by generations of audiences, she is dearly missed.

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Donor Spotlight: Doug Throckmorton

"After years of being a Minnesota Orchestra subscriber, and going through the shock of the lockout, I realized that my ticket purchase was only a start toward supporting the gift of our outstanding Orchestra in our community. Could I, retired, living on a church pension and Social Security, do more?"

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The Future of the Minnesota Orchestra Is Up to the Music Lovers of Today

Laureate Society members David and Darlene Lee are not only longtime subscribers of and donors to the Minnesota Orchestra—they are also long-distance commuters to Orchestra Hall. From their home in Wausau, Wis., the Lees travel about 8 hours round-trip to experience the music they love and more. Darlene explains, "It's a long drive, so we make the most of our time in the Twin Cities by taking in a variety of activities, but no question, it's the beautiful music of the Minnesota Orchestra that serves as the impetus of our trips."

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Charitable Gift Annuities: A Gift That Lets You Give and Receive

Laureate Society member Robert Peterson chose to establish a charitable gift annuity for its dual benefits: tax-favored, dependable payments for him and a generous future gift for the Orchestra. "It's a win for both of us. But more than that, it's a way to make a deferred gift and feel good about it while you are alive," Robert says.

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Mike and Carol Milligan

For Carol and Mike, real-world concerns aren't simply metaphors, but their life's work. Carol administers a program through the state agriculture department that provides fresh, locally grown produce from farmers markets to lowincome seniors and families with young children. Mike helps young men in Ramsey County Community Corrections access services to address alcohol and drug addictions. The Milligans' commitment to community extends to their philanthropy. Their entire estate is earmarked for the charities they love.

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