Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New column every Monday: Pure philanthropy, April 14, 2008

From The Miami Herald
Posted on Wed, Apr. 09, 2008
Metrozoo's secret angel now in heaven

The slight, elderly man with a shock of white hair first approached Ron Magill a decade ago, quietly pulled him aside and told him he loved Metrozoo. Then he handed Magill a check.
When Magill opened it, he saw that it was for $90,000.

''I thought it would bounce from here to Los Angeles,'' Magill said.
It didn't. A year later the gentlemen handed over another check, for $100,000. There were two conditions: that he remain anonymous, and that Magill, the zoo's communications director, decide how it would be spent.

The man had run a tool company in New York before moving it to Miami and had made out in the stock market with Con Edison and Exxon. His generosity continued, reaching $900,000.

The donor's wife asked that The Miami Herald not use her husband's name, honoring his wish.

When he died in December, at age 95, he had one final gift: a check for $2,307,684.36 that Magill showed off to Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday.

The money will help upgrade the zoo's aging amphitheater.
The check was signed: ``Anonymous Donor.''