Man's bequest serves as an inspiration

Your compelling story on Peter Letz's $8 million bequest to the Community Foundation shows the philanthropic potential of personal relations and planned giving ("Frugal benefactor bestows generous gift," July 2).

We are honored that the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and Maggie Jones helped nurture Mr. Letz's love of the environment and animals. Benefitting these causes in perpetuity, Mr. Letz's bequest will always be a testimonial for his lifetime values and beliefs.

Planned giving often through bequests has huge potential for nonprofits as $40 trillion will transfer to children and charities in the first half of this century. The transfer, including planned giving to charities, will be about $30 billion just in New London County.

To partake in wealth transfers, a nonprofit must be visible, purposeful and well managed. For instance, the nature center's new planned giving society already recognizes 25 members. These people, who know the nature center best, believe in its values, its fund-raising successes and its careful plans.

Congratulations to The Day for insightful reporting and to the Community Foundation for meriting Peter Letz's confidence and magnificent legacy.

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