Daily Acts of Kindness Inspire Record-Breaking Gift

This 2014 story from our Asbury Foundation FOCUS Magazine archives is one of many inspiring stories sharing the actions of our donor family.

Harold Prowell, a Harrisburg, Pa. attorney, had always wanted his son to have a normal life despite the challenges caused by either autism or a birth injury. Gilbert lived with his parents and held jobs at the courthouse and his father’s law firm. Yet when Harold was widowed after 67 years of marriage, his other children worried about his forgetfulness and Gilbert’s increasing wandering.

In 2001, the two moved into an apartment at Bethany Village. Gilbert thrived on the interaction with staff and residents. He liked dressing up for dinner, researching in the library, walking miles around campus, and joining his father on the community’s bus trips. Associates worked to respect his freedom.
When Gilbert’s father died, Bethany’s staff took special care to help him continue living the full life his father had wanted for him. He loved “living on his own” in an assisted living suite. Even as his health declined, associates looked for things he enjoyed.

Gilbert passed away in 2012, and just this year, the staff found their caring acts had not been forgotten. On one of her visits, his sister, Myra, had discussed with Gilbert where the funds from the trust their father had set up for him should go after his death. They had decided that everything should go to Bethany Village.

“Everything” was $2.1 million, the largest gift in Bethany’s history.

And what inspired Myra? “My brother always received good care, and they kept him safe. He was happy. As he needed more help, I used to watch and marvel at how patient they were.” Myra felt the gift would be used well at Bethany Village. “My generation needs good places like this because we’re living longer. I think the money went to the best place it could have gone.”

Melissa Hadley, Bethany Village executive director and Asbury regional director of operations, says a portion of this significant gift will be used to complete Phase I of Bethany East renovations as well as purchase 30 acres of adjoining land. It will enable Bethany to make strategic enhancements that otherwise “we would have had to wait years to undertake.”

She says, “With this gift, we can expand without the expense of borrowing, which will keep Bethany Village more affordable. We are all deeply grateful for the Prowells’ generosity that will allow us to continue to offer exceptional services to seniors well into the future.” What a tremendous legacy one family’s thoughtfulness and all of our care and kindness can create!

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