Planned Giving

Membership in The Francis Joy Cotting Circle allows a donor to make a gift in which the commitment to Cotting is made in the present, but Cotting’s receipt of funds from the gift may be delayed until a future time. Donors who make planned gifts normally receive tax and/or income benefits.

To see which planned giving options suit you best, try ranking these benefits of philanthropy in order of importance:

  • Retain Flexibility
  • Receive income or estate tax deductions
  • Ensure Cotting School’s future
  • Secure a retirement income for yourself
  • Provide for your heirs

Now, see which type of gift matches your priorities.

  • To secure a retirement income, arrange a charitable gift annuity, one strategy that provides this benefit. You’ll receive fixed payments for life and a partial income tax deduction in the year your gift is made.
  • To receive income and estate tax deductions, consider creating a charitable remainder trust. You’ll also receive payments for your lifetime (and/or the lifetime of another beneficiary you choose) for a fixed number of years. We’ll use the trust’s balance for our charitable mission.
  • To secure our future, you can create a named endowment at Cotting School. Your name – and your support of our mission – will live on after you’re gone.

If you would like more information about planned giving, please contact:

Elizabeth Campbell Peters
Director of Advancement
(781) 862-7323 ext.178

Why Donors are Leaving Cotting a Planned Gift

Lillian Towner Leary

Music and dancing have always been an integral part of Lillian Towner Leary's life.  Every evening, her father would come home from work and grab Lillian, her sisters, or her mother, and start dancing around the kitchen.  Music, singing, and a lighthearted attitude toward life are firmly entrenched in her, despite personal setbacks that might have others singing the blues.

Lillian recalls with great fondness her son David's association with Cotting School.  "In 1955, my son David contracted polio at age sixteen months.  My husband, Frank, was a disabled World War II veteran and in and out of the hospital. I had two older daughters, and I had to work. David attended the public school for first grade, but the second grade teacher did not want to take responsibility for him."  She recalls feeling desperate.  Luckily, "Dr. Trott of Children's Hospital made an appointment for us with Dr. William Carmichael at 241 St. Botolph Street in Boston.  Along with academics, David was soon taking music, industrial arts, and gym classes.

"I always did David’s therapy with him, but I could never get him to go up and down stairs. The children of Cotting School taught him in about a month! Cotting taught him things that helped him later in life. It gave his dad and me peace of mind that we didn’t have before David attended Cotting School.

"Eventually we moved to Norwell and David graduated from the high school there. He worked pumping gas to save money for a secondhand car, which he used to commute to his first job at a bank in Brookline.  After that, he worked at Stone & Webster Engineering, and then with Floor Daniel, an international company. During his time with Floor Daniel, David helped build power plants in Michigan, Florida, and New Hampshire. As a Contract Administrator, he then built buildings all over the Midwest and West, finally landing in Dallas, which he loved, and where he died of cancer at age 43 in 1997.

"Cotting School taught him everything he needed to learn to be on his own.” She adds that David always credited Cotting School, as did she and Frank, for David’s ability to live independently.

Having that burden lifted from their shoulders gave her a lot to sing about.

Lillian has planned to leave a bequest from David to Cotting School upon her passing. With characteristic selfless modesty, she says, “Cotting saved my life. No one else would take him. David always wanted to give something back to the School, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to say thank you in this way."

— Lillian Towner Leary
Richard Herd

Cotting alumnus and actor Richard Herd has enjoyed a varied and full career in radio, film and television. You will remember him as Mr. Wilhelm in the award-winning sitcom Seinfeld; Herd was most recently seen in Desperate Housewives. Additional television credits include Admiral Owen Paris on Star Trek Voyager, and three seasons as Captain Dennis Sheridan in T.J. Hooker. But he has a Cotting history as well.

At seven years of age, Richard contracted osteomyelitis, a bone disease, in his left leg. He was given one of the first doses of newly-invented penicillin, which saved his leg, after which he underwent surgery and rehabilitation. A year later, in 1939, wearing a full leg brace, he enrolled at Cotting School, then called The Industrial School for Crippled and Deformed Children. “Other than at school, I had no one to play with. We were shunned in society; people made fun of us. At school, we were given the strength not to feel sorry for ourselves. We experienced joy in class and laughter on the bus. Our education was just like that of other kids,” he remembers fondly. “The hardship on my parents was tremendous. Their help and strength, and the powerful support from my teachers, gave me the will to move on and the stubbornness to keep going. It was amazing to see what I could do when people got behind me.”

“Two things happened that motivated me: I developed a sense of self respect and the will to succeed. Without willpower,” Herd notes, “it is so difficult to go on. If you don’t watch it, your mind set can become crippled as well. Thank goodness, the tolerance level for disabilities is much higher today.”

“Pat and I have chosen to leave a bequest in our will to Cotting School because of the strength, care, love, and understanding shown me there that enabled me to get back on my feet and feel hope. Cotting provided teachers whose strong fabric of character served me as role models; how terrific it was to have somebody like that in my life! Cotting was a wonderful place for me to be at that point in time, and I am pleased to be able to express my gratitude this way.”

— Richard Herd