At 12:01 am on Saturday, March 21, 1936, a high school chum and I boarded the B&O reclining-seat coach train in our native Washington, D.C. It was to be our first visit to the Metropolitan Opera for the matinee of Puccini’s La Rondine, featuring Lucrezia Bori in one of her farewell performances.
With our Family Circle tickets in hand, we were regarding the bust of Caruso in the lobby, when we were approached by two elegant “older ladies” who were perhaps in their 30’s. We must have looked like very wholesome, freshly scrubbed young men. “Would you like to give your tickets to the standee line and sit, very quietly, in the rear seats of our Golden Horseshoe Box, as our husbands have opted to go golfing instead of to the opera?” Thus were we introduced to the Met in grand style.
Decades later, I settled in New York, within walking distance of the Met. I joined the Patron Program and The Encore Society, bringing enormous pleasure and an ever-closer feeling of belonging to the Met family.
A few years ago, I made my first planned gift, a charitable remainder annuity trust, as a contribution to the Met’s Endowment Fund. Recently, to commemorate my 85th birthday, I could think of no greater satisfaction than to make another contribution to the Endowment Fund, this time with a gift annuity.
The payments I receive from both gifts provide me with an impressive return, not to mention the capital gains and income taxes I was able to save when I made my gifts. This lifetime income is most satisfying, and should go far in providing for my future – and the Met’s.
I strongly recommend that those seeking a source of income, who enjoy participating in the wonderful world of opera, would do well to investigate the planned giving options offered by the Metropolitan Opera by calling 212-870-7388. If the Met has been a part of your past, please join me in being part of its future.