"Humble" woman's estate to go to zoo, hospital and humane society
A Knoxville woman who lived simply and advised her only child to “spend your time and money wisely” left a $6.16 million estate to eight charities, seven from East Tennessee.
The money was distributed at a news conference remembering the late Nadine Brantley Dempster. The Knoxville native died in 2012 at age 93, leaving a trust that gives $770,000 to each of the eight groups. The unrestricted gifts surprised many recipients. “It’s a godsend,” said Amy Buttry, fiscal director of the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley.
Five beneficiaries — the Humane Society, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church, InterFaith Health Clinic and the Knoxville Zoo — are Knoxville-based. The Holston United Methodist Home for Children is in Greeneville. Bachman Academy, which serves children with learning disabilities, is in McDonald, Tenn., in Bradley County. The out-of-state recipient is New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dempster didn’t specify why she selected the eight. “She wrote down what she wanted, and we carried out her instructions,” said Meridian Trust President Tom Coulter.
Representatives of the groups now benefiting from Nadine Dempster’s last largesse use words like “miracle,” “amazing” and “game changer.”
“This is huge,” said Buttry. “The past several years … donations have been down as we struggle every day to get by. … We want to invest this to make sure it will be around for years to some. This will help sustain the society so we are not always begging everyone day to day.”
12 August 2014
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