By Mariah Kline
Photo by Kathryn Harrington
On Feb. 28, a small group of people came together to celebrate a very large gift. Thanks to the generosity of the late Maurice Brown and Joe Brandt, Boys & Girls Haven has received a donation of $632,027.42 that will go toward serving some of the city’s neediest children.
Brown and Brandt shared a home at 1304 Cherokee Road and upon their passing wanted the proceeds of the home’s sale to go directly to Boys & Girls Haven.
“Maurice wanted his and Joe’s money to go someplace that would help young people,” said Helen Cohen, the accountant who served as the executrix of Brown’s will. “He felt that in order to build a good society, you have to have good young people.”
The donation couldn’t have come at a better time. In November 2018, 16 of the children and young adults living at the Haven’s Klondike neighborhood campus lost their apartments in a fire.
“During that season (of the fire), we were feeling a little overwhelmed, and then out of the blue, we get notified that this amazing gift is coming to take care of these kiddos,” said Read Harris, CEO of Boys & Girls Haven. “One of the things we promise as an organization is honoring donor intent. We’re promising that these funds will go right to the kids in terms of programming and improving their lifestyle within the Haven.”
Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty agent Terri Bass handled the sale of the Cherokee Road home, which she said sold fairly quickly.
“It was a very unique and very unusual marketing experience, being able to tell people who looked at the house that all of the proceeds were going to benefit children,” Bass explained. “I hope this will give someone else an idea to do something similar. If they have an estate, they can have it help others long after they’ve passed.”