Legacy Society member story

Mary Pat and Joe Hartnett

“We all have something to share, not always money, but we all can share.”

Mary Pat and Joe Hartnett are members of the Upstate Legacy Society, which was established as a tribute to donors who have included the Upstate Foundation in their estate plans. Their legacy gift will blossom and grow in the healing garden at the Upstate Cancer Center. In the meantime, they created the Mary Pat and Joe Hartnett Family Fund to renovate the healing garden and help with its upkeep, beyond what the Upstate budget provides.

Mary Pat was a nurse at Upstate University Hospital for 27 years and is now retired.

“I loved working at Upstate,” Mary Pat said. “People do not realize how great Upstate is! I enjoyed all my years there…the work, the people. Many friendships were developed.”

Mary Pat explained her interest in the healing garden. “I used to work with many oncology patients, and I knew what the healing garden could be for them, and for other patients and staff as well. Every week, I would walk by it, and thought it looked neglected. I knew it could look better, and commented on it often.”

When Mary Pat and Joe met with their estate planning attorney, they inquired about leaving a legacy gift that would help with long-term beautification projects and provide enhancements that are not part of routine maintenance. It was their attorney who suggested Mary Pat and Joe make a major gift to renovate the healing garden and support its upkeep in the short term.

“Our lawyer asked what we were waiting for and recommended we make the call,” Mary Pat said. “I actually laughed because what was I waiting for? I made the call the next day!”

Joe was not surprised that she wanted to give money both now and in the future to benefit the healing garden. “She talked about it often when she was working and continued to talk about it after she retired.”

Both Mary Pat and Joe view their philanthropy as a way to sharewith their children and grandchildren the importance of serving the greater community. Mary Pat was influenced by he rmother who taught that people should channel kindness to others.

“We take so much enjoyment from this, and are a bit uncomfortable sharing this, as it is not our nature. But we all have something to share, not always money, but we all can share,” Joe added.

For more information about ways to create your own personal Legacy, contact your financial advisor or call the Upstate Foundation, 315-464-4416. 

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