Betty Buckell

Betty Buckell and Jane MacMillan were just 20 and 18 years old when they first started working together at a Baltimore bank. The two young women became fast friends, and though they were often separated by many miles Betty lived for years in the Caribbean their bond has lasted for more than five decades. Betty now resides in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, Jane in Timonium, Maryland, but they are as close as ever. Recently, they joined together to buy a stake in a thoroughbred racehorse, a 2-year-old filly named Miss Moonshine.

Back in 2007, Betty and Jane came up with a special tradition for birthdays and holidays, one that was perfect for two women who had shared so many years of friendship. Instead of buying each other presents, they make gifts to charity. Betty's gifts to Jane benefit the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. She gives in honor of Jane's late husband at Christmas and on the anniversary of his death, and for Jane's birthday in November, she gives in memory of Jane's mother.

As for Jane's gifts to Betty, they are made in memory of Betty's parents and also benefit the Kimmel Cancer Center, as well as another charity. For Betty, giving to the Cancer Center is simple she grew up in Baltimore County and remembers Johns Hopkins as ever-present in her life. "I think everybody that is from Baltimore feels a close connection to the hospital and the university," she said. "I never went to a doctor that didn't have some affiliation with Hopkins!"

Betty remembers her father's deep appreciation for the care he received at Johns Hopkins, especially from his urologist. She even recalls speaking to her father about his interest in providing philanthropic support to Johns Hopkins. Now, years later, Betty sees her philanthropy to Johns Hopkins as a continuation of his wishes, and she honored her father in her larger commitments made last year in the form of charitable gift annuities to benefit the Cancer Center.

With a Johns Hopkins charitable gift annuity (CGA), the donor makes a gift of cash or securities in exchange for fixed income to one or two beneficiaries for life. The remaining principal is used by Johns Hopkins for the purpose chosen by the donor. The donor is eligible for an immediate tax deduction for a portion of the gift, and a portion of the income is tax-free. In addition, CGA payout rates often compare favorably to the income generated by stocks or CDs. When Betty took the details of her CGA to her financial advisor, they were both pleased with the payout rate offered, and he noted the dual benefit to both Betty and the university.

In fact, she was so pleased with the gift annuity, she suggested it to her longtime companion, Bob Schucker. He was equally impressed, and as a result, Bob funded a CGA. Bob recently passed away, but the CGA continues to pay income to Betty and the remaining principal will provide general support to the university.

Betty feels that a gift to Johns Hopkins is one that has both meaning and purpose. "I do it in honor of my mother and father," she said, "and I do it for Baltimore and for this great institution."

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