On Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, the Jewish community lost a pillar and a legend whose legacy will be not only remembered but revered in eternity. Quietly and peacefully, Leo Pinsky, age 90 years old passed away in his sleep. Leo lived and loved life to the fullest, in every way imaginable and everyone who came into his life will be better for it. And for those connected with Heritage Pointe – Residents, families, donors or community members—Leo’s legacy of establishing the Diamond Donor Society will be honored and treasured forever.
Leo chaired the Diamond Donor Society for 26 years. In a 2018 interview he admitted: “I never thought The Diamond Donor Program would last as long as it has and been so successful. When I reflect back on my life and my philanthropic activities with my wife, Sheila, I think of the day my son asked me: ‘What have you done in your life Dad that will be your legacy?’ I believe it will be Heritage Pointe’s Diamond Donor Society. I am hoping my daughter, Allison Pinsky, who has served on the Heritage Pointe Board for the past six years, will carry the torch forward for this Diamond Donor Society into perpetuity.”
Gifts in Perpetuity
In 2016, when Beth Slavin was the newly hired Director of Philanthropy of Heritage Pointe, she had a sensitive conversation with Leo.
“Leo, I am concerned that many of our Diamond Donors are getting on in age and I believe there is a new concept we can institute to the Diamond Donor Program to keep it going forever,” Beth said. Leo sat and listened but seemed quite apprehensive.
“Look,” Beth continued, “if we ask our Diamond Donors to endow their Diamonds into an endowment fund for $25,000 each, their gift will live in perpetuity. The annual interest income generated from the fund will be contributed back into the Heritage Fund, to support our Residents in need.” Beth recalls from the way Leo looked at her, she knew immediately what was coming.
“What are you nuts?” he exclaimed. “Who’s gonna do that?”
You couldn’t help but smile back at that face, even if he was upset.
“Leo,” Beth continued, “it’s definitely going to work because you are going to be the first one to contribute and after you do, nobody’s going to say no, especially to you!”
A few days passed before Leo called and said, “Well kid, how are we going to do this…I’m ready to commit but you better be right!”
The Idea Worked
Well, it did work and in 2.5 years, 15 members have step forward to endow their Diamonds giving the Leo Pinsky Endowed Diamond Fund a quarter of a million dollars. In 2018, the Carat Membership level was introduced, which completes the final giving triad of the Diamond Donor Society. This Carat Membership allows NextGen members, age 49 and younger, to give an annual gift of $500.
Celebrating its 26th Anniversary as of January 2019, The Diamond Donor Society today boasts 186 Diamond Donors, 15 Endowed Diamonds, and four Carats, whose giving has resulted in a total of close to $3 million.
Heritage Pointe will be forever grateful to this extraordinary visionary, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Leo Pinsky z”l, for creating this lasting legacy and his vision to enable our Residents in need to reside in a beautiful home surrounded by warmth, love and serenity. Our hearts go out to his beloved wife, Sheila, and the entire Pinsky Family. Leo was a true “mensch” in every sense of the word. May his memory be a blessing.
We offer our appreciation and thanks to every Diamond Donor, for their continued commitment and generous support over the past 26 years for our beloved Seniors in need. For more information on Heritage Pointe’s Diamond Donor Society, please call Beth Slavin at Heritage Pointe at 949-364-0010.
Madeline zuckerman is President of M. Zuckerman Public Relations and Media, Inc., and BETH SLAVIN IS Director of Philanthropy, Heritage Pointe.