Legacy Society – Chris Arnold

Annual Donor, Major Donor, Legacy Donor

01/2022   Chris Arnold has experienced a parent’s worst nightmare: the loss of a child. And yet, nearly three decades later, his daughter’s legacy lives on in the Central New York community, owing to Chris’ dedication each year to planning and implementing Paige’s Butterfly Run with the assistance of the Upstate Foundation.

“The Upstate Foundation has been a great partner to help us promote our mission,” Chris said. “I’m sure we would not be as successful as we are today if it weren’t for the assistance of the Foundation.”

That mission is supporting children and their families at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital as they go through their unwanted pediatric cancer journeys, and perhaps even preventing future families from going on that journey by supporting local pediatric cancer research. It’s a journey Chris and his then-wife Ellen Yeomans took when Paige was diagnosed with leukemia and succumbed at age 8 in 1994.

Paige’s Butterfly Run has raised over $4 million since its inception in 1997. Proceeds have funded unmet patient and family needs, nursing education, and other pediatric cancer related programs and services, and research. Most recently, event proceeds helped establish the Paige Yeomans Arnold Endowed Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Upstate Foundation. The endowment will live in perpetuity at Upstate. With an eye to the future, Chris has also created a legacy gift at the Foundation.

“The reason I am making gifts in memory of my daughter – annually through Paige’s Butterfly Run and now personally, through an estate gift – is to help kids and families who are in the same position we were. It breaks my heart when I think of young children and their families who are so deeply affected by this disease, cancer, and knowing that, unfortunately, too many of them won’t make it. And, of those who do, many will face lifelong deficits created by the treatments that defeated their cancer. Being able to help them through this process and through this difficult time in their lives means a lot to me. It’s gratifying to me,” Chris explained.

“Having worked with the Upstate Foundation for more than 25 years made the transition from annual giving to legacy giving easy for me,” he added. “The Foundation is a trusted member of the community, a very large part of our philanthropic community in Central New York. They make the process easy for you, and you can be comfortable with how your gift – your legacy – will be handled in the future.”

Chris is also encouraging those closest to him to think about the future too. “There’s no time like the present. I say, ‘Get it done and it’ll be there when the time comes.’ It’s so simple.”

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


Taking the long view of wellness…

“The Foundation helps me accomplish what's needed to carry out my personal vision and priorities,” Dr. Kohman explained. It is vision that prompted her to make a legacy gift, recognizing that Upstate is going to have needs long after her service has ended. She has donated a life insurance policy, designating the Upstate Foundation as its beneficiary, which she hopes will inspire others.

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“I would encourage anybody who wants to make a charitable gift to have that conversation.”

For Iris Buczkowski, whose oldest daughter is autistic, the new Golisano Center for Special Needs at Upstate Medical University was a life changer. So much so, in fact, Iris and her family decided to leave a legacy gift to the center through the Upstate Foundation… “They made giving very, very easy because the team has a collective approach,” Iris explained.

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“If you have a spark to do something that’s bigger than yourself… say yes to that impulse. Say yes to life.”

“It feels like there is a sense of peace, and it feels humbling, because this is something that will be happening after I leave this world,” said Daniel. “If you have a spark to do something that’s bigger than yourself, this is a wonderful avenue for it. And I would recommend it for anybody. Say yes to that impulse. Say yes to life.”
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“It’s very gratifying… knowing we will continue to help young people with mental health issues.

“I think Corey would be extremely proud of us,” said Lisa. “I can’t tell you how many people reached out to us after the fact and told us she was always there for them.”
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“It’s a way to help make sure others have the same positive experience you’ve had.”

“Dr. Wright was like an angel on earth,” said Dick. “When Priscilla was hospitalized, I was so impressed by the care that he, and every nurse and orderly showed not only to Priscilla and me, but all patients and families on the oncology floor. Even though Priscilla was going through a traumatic time, it was joyous how everyone was treated like family. I still get emotional about it even today.”
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“We’ve been blessed. There’s no question.” 

They consider themselves blessed. That is why Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Parker and his wife Ginny included the Upstate Foundation in their estate plans.
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“I want to invest in the lives and health of children.”  

It’s no wonder, then, that Dr. Victoria Meguid – who has been a powerful force for pediatric care at Upstate Medical University since 1992 – has made the Upstate Foundation a beneficiary of her retirement plan.
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“It never hurts to pay it forward. I like being part of the Upstate Foundation.”

While listening to a local television station in 2005, Shirley Florczyk  heard about a motorcycle ride supporting Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. She sent in a gift and ended up connecting with Toni Gary, assistant vice president for development for the Children’s Hospital… the beginning of a wonderful relationship for both women.
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Charitable gift annuity benefits both donors and Upstate  

“It’s terrific! You can have your cake and eat it, too.” This is how Dr. Michael Ratner and his wife Rissa describe their latest philanthropic endeavor – a charitable gift annuity through the Upstate Foundation.

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Legacy gift reflects love for community

A legacy gift as part of Jim and Ceme Curley’s estate plan is just one more step in an enduring relationship with the Upstate Foundation. 

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A legacy that inspires

“Your legacy is how you’ve led your life and how you’ve influenced someone else,” said Molly King, who added to her legacy in this community by including the Upstate Foundation in her estate plans.

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Former longtime Upstate physicians help children and families through legacy gift

“Leaving Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital as a beneficiary in our will was an easy decision for us,” says Dr. Richard Sills, former director of the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders, and Dr. Irene Sills, former professor of pediatrics, pediatric endocrinologist at Upstate University Hospital.

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Sick children helped by retired nurse’s planning and commitment

When Elizabeth “Betty” Runkle created the gift annuity, she remarked, “The health profession has given me so much. I’m glad to have the opportunity to pay it back in a small way.” Read more…


Lifetimes of service inspire a legacy of hope

John and Mell Gleason’s professional lives have been devoted to the not-for-profit sector. Read more…