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Winthrop University Hospital

Winthrop’s Guardians: Creating a Legacy

For Veronica “Ronnie” Renken of Garden City, volunteering is a way of life. It all began in the 1970s, when she started volunteering at Winthrop- University Hospital, then known as Nassau Hospital, feeding patients who were unable to feed themselves.

“Feeding patients was a wonderful opportunity for me to help people through difficult times in their lives and make them more comfortable in their time of need,” remembered Mrs. Renken.

Volunteering on patient care units alongside nurses enabled Mrs. Renken to experience firsthand the compassion of the staff as well as the healing that takes place at Winthrop. Wanting to become more involved, she soon joined the Hospital’s Auxiliary – a dedicated group of volunteers who collectively support the general welfare of the Hospital through their goodwill and fundraising.

The more involved Mrs. Renken became, the more she wanted to do. Ten years ago, Mrs. Renken became President of Winthrop’s Auxiliary, which now includes two volunteer groups, the Twigs and Wings of Winthrop. She was also elected to the Hospital’s Board of Directors.

“We both felt it is important to support
an institution that will always be there
for others in the future.”

“When you really believe in the organization that you’re volunteering for, it becomes very much a part of you,” said Mrs. Renken. “You become very close to the organization and to the people there.”


Veronica “Ronnie” Renken of Garden City’s experience as a volunteer at Winthrop-University Hospital prompted her and her husband to include Winthrop in their will.
Mrs. Renken’s tireless commitment to Winthrop and its patients also led her and her husband to consider Winthrop in their estate planning.

“Frequently my husband and I spoke about how important it is to express gratitude for the many blessings that had come our way. As I became more involved with Winthrop and with fundraising, and as we began to think about estate planning, we decided to name Winthrop in our will, so that our money would go where we felt it would do the most good,” said Mrs. Renken. “We both felt it is important to support an institution that will always be there for others in the future.”

“Everyone can help, regardless of personal wealth. Every gift given during a person’s lifetime or after their death has an impact somewhere in the Hospital,” said John P. Broder, Vice President of External Affairs and Development at Winthrop. “While the primary motivator continues to be gratitude for the care Winthrop provided to the patient or member of his or her family, often the Hospital is named a beneficiary in an estate simply because the donor wants to help ensure Winthrop’s future as a highly regarded healthcare provider in the Long Island community.”

“Although my husband has passed away, I continue to take great pride in supporting Winthrop,” said Mrs. Renken. In addition to her respon - s ibilities as a Board member and President of the Auxiliary, Mrs. Renken volunteers in the Patient Relations Department, where she helps alleviate any concerns that patients may have, and at the Communications Desk, where she helps patients and their families navigate their way throughout the Hospital. She also is an active committee member for Winthrop’s annual Golf Tournament which raises in excess of $500,000 each year to support the Hospital.

To recognize individuals whose benevolence will assist Winthrop’s staff in making medical miracles in the years to come, Winthrop has formed The Guardian Society. The Guardian Society honors those who have graciously included Winthrop in their estate plans helping to ensure that our mission of providing superior quality healthcare in a teaching and research environment continues for generations to come.

There are numerous potential advantages to a bequest or planned gift. Many grateful friends are able to make a more significant gift than they thought possible through their will or estate. In addition, some planned gifts may qualify for an immediate tax deduction, increase spendable income or provide significant future tax savings for the donor’s family.

A bequest is easy to establish and does not limit access to needed assets during your lifetime. For more information on how you can include Winthrop- University Hospital in your estate plan and become a member of the Guardian Society, call John Broder, Vice President of External Affairs and Development at Winthrop, at (516) 663-2706.
Vol. 21, No. 2
Fall 2011

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