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Research Newsletter-Fall/Winter 2006


Scott Palmer
LPI Director of Development

One of the things I like most about this job is getting to know some of the great people who support the Institute, including Dorothy Epstein and Sonia Penich. Dorothy and Sonia both lived in New York City not more than a few miles from one another. Both were compassionate, strong-willed, independent women with backbones of steel who overcame numerous challenges to become inspirations to their respective families and friends.

Dorothy was born in the Bronx in 1913, and Sonia was born in Belgrade, Serbia, three years later. Dorothy and her family faced many challenges during the Great Depression, and Sonia survived the Nazi occupation of Belgrade during WWII.

In 1962, Sonia fled her native Serbia to escape the communist repression of Marshall Tito. She lived in Paris for several years before coming to the United States in 1974, where she learned to speak English and went to college. After graduating from Columbia University, she worked for the New York City Criminal Court Library, where she spent the next 30 years as an employee and volunteer.

Dorothy graduated from Hunter College in 1933. At different times in her life she was a social activist, a union organizer, and an entrepreneur. It was during her tenure as the first female president of a health food and vitamin production company that her passionate and long-term support of Linus Pauling and the Institute he founded began. She was one of the Institute's strongest advocates and was always looking for ways to advance the cause of health research.

When Dorothy retired at the age of 76, she became an advocate for the rights of seniors. Nine years later she started writing her memoirs. Sometime next year her book, A Song of Social Significance, will be published by Ben Yehuda Press of Teaneck, NJ. It is a remarkable story. Both women became supporters of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine shortly after it was founded by Dr. Pauling in 1973 and, unfortunately, both passed away this past spring within a few weeks of each other.

Each of them found different ways to support the Linus Pauling Institute. Through her will, Sonia provided a substantial bequest to LPI. Dorothy had been making large annual gifts to LPI for some time, including a very generous gift shortly before her death.

Today, the Linus Pauling Institute is a world-renowned research center on micronutrients and phytochemicals, due in large part to the support we have received from people like Dorothy and Sonia. The financial contributions we receive from our many friends provide the Institute with the critical resources to grow and explore new scientific boundaries. Your support does make a difference.

Within the past few months, Congress has made it easier for the average person to support their favorite not-for-profit organization by allowing them to make a gift from their individual retirement account (IRA). The Pension Protection Act of 2006 created a significant tax incentive for donors who are 70 1/2 years or older to donate up to $100,000 per year of their IRAs to organizations like the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Under this new law, you can make a gift using funds from your IRA without undesirable tax effects. A charitable gift to the Linus Pauling Institute will count toward satisfying mandatory withdrawal amounts.

Thousands of people created IRAs when the concept was first introduced years ago and have been contributing to them every year. Those annual contributions, coupled with compounded, tax-free annual growth, have resulted in large IRA accounts for many people who have retired. Prior to this recent legislation, it was difficult for someone to donate all or a part of their IRA to a charitable organization. Now, gifts from IRAs can be made simply and without tax complications. Plus, you can make the gift now—while you are living and able to witness the benefits of your generosity. You may contribute funds this way if:

  • You are age 70 1/2 or older.
  • The gift is $100,000 or less each year.
  • You make the gift on or before December 31, 2007.
  • You transfer funds directly from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Donors should not take the distribution themselves and subsequently write a check to a charity.
  • You transfer the gift outright to one or more public charities like the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, but not to supporting organizations or donor-advised funds.

Some of our supporters are already taking advantage of this new law to make their annual gifts to the Linus Pauling Institute. If you would like more information about how to provide a gift to the Institute from your IRA, please don't hesitate to contact me.

In the meantime, I will continue doing what I like best—spending time on behalf of the Linus Pauling Institute with remarkable people like Dorothy Epstein and Sonia Penich, who cared deeply about their families, friends, and community.

Phone: 503.553.3407
Toll Free: 866.218.8930

LPI is deeply grateful for the bequests we have received from the following friends
John F. Holterhoff Helen J. Sagar
David Holtzman Charles Saltzman
Sonia Penich David L. Soltker
Karla Pepe Robert B. Stewart
Sylvia Robb  

Last updated November, 2006