Legacy Society – Lisa and David Craig

“It’s very gratifying… knowing we will continue to help young people with mental health issues.”

In October 2006, Lisa and David Craig experienced the unimaginable: their only child, Corinne, took her own life at the age of 16. Beautiful, beloved by family and friends, and generous by nature, “Corey” suffered from anxiety and depression.

Though she was being treated and had showed signs of progress prior to her suicide, depression can be a chronic and unyielding foe whose symptoms can return unexpectedly and in force. Moreover, resources in Central New York for high-risk teens were few and far between at the time. 

“It was very difficult 15 years ago to easily access mental health care especially for that age group,” explained Lisa. That shortage of resources would eventually become the impetus of a legacy gift to the Upstate Foundation.  

Lisa and David survived the dark days and weeks immediately following the tragedy thanks to the incredible outpouring of support from family members and Corey’s friends, classmates and teachers, and the community at large. Vowing to do whatever they could to help other high-risk teenagers in the region, they directed gifts in Corey’s memory to Upstate.

Those tribute gifts were the cornerstone for the Corinne M. Craig Memorial Endowment that Lisa and David established at the Upstate Foundation to support education in the field of adolescent psychiatry and suicide prevention. Administered by Dr. Robert Gregory in Upstate’s psychiatry department, the endowment has helped fund Dr. Gregory’s work in the development of the Psychiatry High Risk Program for youth and young adults struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

It has given the Craigs much satisfaction, seeing their endowment being actively used to help others. To ensure that increased resources are available in future, Lisa and David took the step of making Corey’s endowment the primary beneficiary of their estate.

“This was one way to ensure something good came from the tragedy. It’s a win, win, win,” said David.

“It’s a way to contribute toward moving mental health care in the right direction…and we are really confident that that’s happening,” added Lisa.

Their advice for others considering a legacy gift to the Upstate Foundation? 

“Contact the Foundation. Look at the website. Even if you don’t want to start your own fund there are so many funds you can contribute to,” said Lisa. 

“Plus,” added David, “the folks at the Foundation office are welcoming, kind, friendly and they make you feel at ease. It’s a good relationship.”

As for what Corey would think of her parents’ decision to establish a fund aimed at helping teens like her?

“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.”

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