Your Impact - Donor Testimonials
Last year, 2,446 people made a gift to Westtown. Below are just a few of the thousands of people who, every year, choose to generously support the school so that Westtown can continue to offer a transformation Aquaker education to its students. None of what we do is possible without the loyal support of our community.
Ben Testerman ‘04 - "In general, if my gift can help to give others a similar experience at westtown, that is the drive for me. Where there are special projects for improvement in programs I enjoyed the most at westtown, I have found my self contributing outside of the annual fund. Areas I enjoyed the most include the science/engineering programs (a classmate and I started the robotics team), and the outdoor program (I greatly appreciated the outdoor trips which were held annually in middle school largely made possibly by Tim James)."
Carol Woods Gehlbach ’61 - “Westtown meant a great deal to me, not just because of the wonderful friendships I formed there, but because of the values that were taught. These Quaker values were important to me and my family, including my mother and sisters, who also attended. I want to make sure this opportunity continues by providing a financial show of support for the school.
I decided to make this gift because of the efforts of my class for our 50th reunion. My husband, Steve, and I recognize that money that we don’t need to live on now can be used by Westtown yet still provide me with income later when we will have less earned income.
Setting up this gift is a win-win situation. I am thrilled to be able to give back to Westtown while creating a life income gift for myself at the same time.”
Charles and Joyce Ketcham - "Our charitable gift annuity for Westtown was given in gratitude for the nurture, instruction, and inspiration which encouraged our son Merrick to explore the creative arts. No experience in his life ever surpassed the welcoming community he found at Westtown; the friends he made there remained friends for life. Though his life was cut short, it was his fondest wish to acknowledge his profound debt to the school. "
Dave Henderson ’62 - “I wanted to continue my family’s tradition of supporting the school over a number of generations. I deeply appreciate my Westtown education, which prepared me for a lifetime of learning and growth. My charitable gift annuity pays me income for the rest of my life and, at the same time, creates an enduring legacy for future Westtown students.”
Jack Yeatman '51 - “I owed something back to the School for the four years of education I received in - and out of - the classroom. It was easy to do - a matter of adding simple wording to designate a percentage of my estate to Westtown. By donating stock, I avoided capital gains tax, received a charitable deduction, and by creating a Charitable Gift Annuity, will receive income for life”
Lucretia Wood Evans '38 with grandson, Jeremy Evans '14 - "I give because I love Westtown. I am so grateful for the years I spent at Westtown and I want to help other students have the same wonderful experience. I am also grateful that my children and grandchildren have attended Westtown."
Mariah Williams '10 - "My gift to the Westtown Fund is my way of giving back. I came to Westtown from a small New York City private school for academically talented and economically disadvantaged students. My mother had always instilled in me the importance of education and from the moment I arrived here I immersed myself into the community. I became active in clubs like the Student Union for Multicultural Awareness and Action and I became a dorm proctor. These leadership experiences and classes like Peace and Justice and Religion and Social Change taught me to think outside of myself and to stay engaged with other people and other parts of the world. By diving deeper into challenging social issues, I have learned something that cannot be taught in textbooks: compassion for those around me and the confidence to take action against injustice."
Sam Wagner '57 and Mary Ann Baker Wagner '58 - "Our relationship with Westtown and each other began over 50 years ago. We were blessed by what Westtown has given us, and are thrilled that this relationship continues now through our grandchildren. There are many worthy charitable causes around the world and we talk often about our philanthropic priorities. Westtown remains a priority for us. We know our donations are helping prepare Westonians to work for a more peaceful and humane world. We see the effect of a Westtown education and we see the tremendous results in our classmates, our children, their friends and our grandchildren. We are one family giving back because we believe in Westtown and our giving is a show of belief. We know what matters is not the amount; it is participation every year."
Debbie Bacon Novak '85 and Steve Novak - "Simply put - We love the school. Some of my earliest memories are of coming to Westtown for Alumni Day with my parents, both alumni. I graduated from Westtown and feel that the school helped form who I am today. Steve and I met in college, and were married in the Greenwood on Westtown's campus. We feel that Westtown is a part of us. Our children now attend Westtown, and they are thriving. We are thankful for those who gave to Westtown while I was a student, making opportunities possible that may not have been possible otherwise. We feel good about supporting Westtown today to give others those same opportunities, and we know that any donation, no matter the size, helps to support another student's Westtown experience."
Tony Fross ’85 - "The teachers, students and community of Westtown had a greater impact on my personality, on my life’s mission, and on my values than any other education I received from grammar to graduate school. Reading the Senior Essays each year in The Westonian, my wife and I recognize how Westtown continues to offer not only world-class academics, but the opportunity for spiritual growth and positive transformation that I experienced firsthand. We constantly marvel at the maturity and awareness demonstrated by Westtown's students, and we are grateful for an institution that fosters such advanced thinking in those who will soon be responsible for the stewardship of our planet.
We’ve seen how incomplete estate planning can leave a burden on the survivors, so we committed to engaging in the planning process early. A critical part of drafting our wills was establishing what the priorities were for our financial legacy. While we contribute to other cultural and philanthropic institutions each year, there is no institution in the world that more clearly speaks to our core values than Westtown School.
For me, WesttownSchool was truly a "School for the Soul." It is a privilege to be able to help ensure that future generations will experience all that Westtown offers.