Supporters Like You

Supporters Like You

Meet the People Creating a Healthier Hawaii

Many donors, grateful patients and community members care about health care in Hawaii, just like you, and they have taken action to make a real, lasting difference for our community. These are wonderful, caring people, and you can meet some of them now.

In some ways, it seems Jerry Bentley, PhD, and Carol Mon Lee were fated to meet. Jerry started his career as an assistant professor in history at the University of Hawaii Mānoa in 1976. That same year, attorney Carol began lecturing there. Twenty years later, Carol returned to UH as the associate dean for the law school, across the street from Jerry’s history department. By then, Jerry was a professor, author and editor of several influential world history publications. Still, the two never crossed paths until a friend introduced them in 1998.

In December of 2011, Jerry was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. For six months, Jerry and Carol would go to the Straub Outpatient Treatment Center (OTC) almost daily. They spent so much time there that they considered the staff and director, Tracey Hewitt, a vital support system. When Jerry’s health was declining, Carol wanted to ensure that he could pass away in the comfort of their own home. At the time, Carol’s son, Michael, was deployed in Afghanistan. Tracey and her team went to lengths to help get Michael emergency family leave so he could return home.

Carol expresses deep gratitude for the care and comfort Tracey and her staff provided not only for Jerry, but also to support her wellbeing during treatments that could last as long as six hours. Jerry passed away in July 2012, and in 2016, Carol attended their monthly staff meeting to announce an endowment for Oncology and the OTC. The purpose is to improve the comfort of patients’ family members. Whether that means purchasing more comfortable chairs, enlarging private rooms, or even paying for staff overtime to extend the OTC’s hours, Carol hopes to improve the space that often acts as second homes for patients and their families.

“I am sure the patient will experience state-of-the-art technology, so my gift is not for that purpose,” Carol says. “My intention is to help with the comfort of the family because it is so important to have family there.”


Carol established her endowment using future funding from her IRA. When making the decision she asked herself, “If I wanted to do something, where would I find the money to do it? I figured that if I give it from my IRA, the net to the nonprofit would be greater because it is tax free.” By giving through traditional or Roth IRAs, you can avoid substantial taxes, and leave less heavily taxed assets to loved ones. To learn more, visit our planned giving website.

As a pediatrician, Dr. Keith Matsumoto knows the value of a long-term investment. He’s been a staff member for Kapi‘olani Medical Center since 1982 and has watched hundreds of his patients transform from infants who spit up on his shoulder to teens inquiring about healthy habits. That’s why Dr. Matsumoto strongly believes in the role he plays in the growth and development of children. “I chose primary care because of its longitudinal approach to wellness, healthy living, prevention of disease and particularly pediatrics because of the lasting impact when embedding this approach and practice at the earliest ages.”

Dr. Matsumoto’s storied career and long history with Hawaii Pacific Health includes being the first pediatrician at the Straub Hawaii Kai Clinic, serving as the chair of the Pediatric Department at Kapi‘olani and being a hospital board member for the medical center. In his leadership roles, Dr. Matsumoto said he discovered, “Not only did Kapi‘olani have minimal endowment money but that other children’s hospitals throughout the nation had substantial endowments. Endowments enable funding of many programs or initiatives well beyond what an organization’s finances allow it to do.”

Knowing what he did, Dr. Matsumoto decided to make an impactful, enduring gift to the medical center by creating the Kapi‘olani Pediatric Endowment Fund. The fund supports the pediatric program and is designed to benefit our community for generations to come. He urges those who are able to do the same and give lasting support to a program or service that they feel passionate about.

“My appeal to potential donors would be that our keiki are our greatest resource and our future, our legacy,” shares Dr. Matsumoto. “Endowments will enable us to provide the best care for them. I am a strong believer in ‘paying it forward’ and, in my opinion, endowments are the epitome of this concept.”

What are endowments?

Endowments are permanent funds where the initial gift is invested and a portion is distributed every year. These gifts can be designated in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one. One means to creating an endowment is through your IRA.

If you’re 70 ½ or older, you can use the IRA charitable rollover to transfer funds directly to one of the medical centers without paying income tax on the distribution.

When you use the IRA charitable rollover to make a gift:

  1. Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference you are making for Kapi‘olani and the children of Hawaii.
  2. You pay no income taxes on the gift. The transfer doesn’t generate taxable income or a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
  3. If you have not yet taken your require minimum distribution for the year, your IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.
    By creating an endowed fund at one of the medical centers at Hawaii Pacific Health, you are investing in the programs and services that can transform care in ways that only the future can tell.

By creating an endowed fund at one of the medical centers at Hawaii Pacific Health, you are investing in the programs and services that can transform care in ways that only the future can tell.

Age hasn’t slowed Edith Preuett’s spirit. At 86, Edith is just as adventurous as she was as a single girl shortly after World War II. One day she met a young Irishman named Robert. Robert proposed after a week. They were married for more than 50 years.

Edith’s infectious enthusiasm for life is just part of her personality. She also has a sharp business mind. She ran two successful spas which included beauty schools. So when Edith received a charitable gift annuity postcard from Straub Foundation in 2011, her financial instincts kicked in. She thought it was a great use for her money.

“Growing up in a large family, we were always taught to share,” Edith said. “By taking out this annuity, I have the opportunity to share with others in a very basic way. I give money and get some back for the rest of my life. I’ve never regretted my decision and I tell all my friends to look into them and give to their favorite charity.”

How you can sleep tight knowing your money will never run out?

If you are worried about cash flow once you retire, a charitable gift annuity might provide a welcome and reassuring rainy day fund. Charitable gift annuities are a very flexible way to make charitable donations that provide you or your spouse with income for life. 100 percent of your gift stays right here, supporting exceptional medical care for the people of Hawaii.

What are the Benefits?
A charitable gift annuity offers benefits that are very attractive to seniors. Annuities often work best for individuals or couples who are 65 or older.

  • Provides an appealing alternative to CDs
  • Guarantees monthly income
  • Part of your income may be tax-free
  • Payments are fixed and will never change
  • Charitable tax deductions for a portion of your gift

Find out what you qualify for today! If you are 65 or older, call 808-535-7134.