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Marge and Sherm Telleen

Marge and Sherm Telleen have devoted a total of 35 years to The Huntington as garden docents focusing most heavily on the Desert Garden. "The Desert Garden features the world's largest outdoor collection of cacti and succulents from all over the world," said Sherm. Of particular importance to the Telleens are the institution's efforts to preserve plants that are being or have been destroyed in their native environments and the opportunities for environmental education that this brings to many groups of people.

Interacting with Huntington visitors brings great satisfaction to the couple. The Telleens have extended their volunteer leadership into other parts of the institution as well. Both have served on various Huntington committees. The couple enjoy membership in the Society of Fellows at the Huntington Circle level and Sherm has served on the Board of Overseers since 1992 and is past chairman of the board.

Their love for the gardens culminated in an extraordinary gift to endow the position of director of the gardens, a position which Dr. James Folsom has held since 1984. Endowing positions is critical to attracting and retaining the finest professionals and to recognizing their achievements and leadership. With this gift, Dr. Folsom becomes the Marge and Sherm Telleen Director of the Botanical Gardens.

"The Huntington brings a tremendous amount of pleasure to its visitors," said Sherm explaining the couple's motivations for their $3 million gift. The Telleens funded this gift using a combination of an outright gift, a bequest from their estate and charitable remainder trust. Truly an example of a thoughtful gift meeting the needs of the donors and the institution they love and support.

We are proud to recognize Marge and Sherm for their contributions in support of The Huntington.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Huntington a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to The Huntington or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Huntington as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Huntington as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and The Huntington where you agree to make a gift to The Huntington and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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