CM Receives Noteworthy Donation
Children’s Mercy has received $586,588, thanks to the generosity of Gale and Lila Lee Hawkins of Raytown, Missouri. A large portion of the couple’s estate was left in equal shares to five charities, which also include Children’s TLC, Ronald McDonald House, City Union Mission and the Shriner’s Hospital.
The Hawkins were married for 64 years, did not have children and owned a family business called Frederick Manufacturing Company—a national supplier of lawnmower replacement parts.
“Lila Lee was a businesswoman ahead of her time,” says nephew Lorenzo Woolridge, who worked at the company, lived with the Hawkins in his twenties and was like a son to them.
“Decades ago, my aunt was on a road trip calling on potential customers and she could tell when a guy wasn’t taking her seriously just because she was a woman,” Lorenzo says. “She told him, ‘I can tell you every part on your display board, where you purchased it from and how much you paid.’ She proceeded to do so, to his amazement. Then she told him to buy directly from her, instead of dealing with a middleman, to save money. Guess what? She walked away with a big contract. She was tough as nails in business, but as sweet and lovable as could be to me and my five siblings.”
Lorenzo’s mom died when he was five years old and his family spent a lot of time with Lila Lee and Gale. He says the couple “spoiled all the kids” and were generous with what they had. Both were influential figures in his life.
Gale served in the Navy, then the Marines during the Korean War. He was an excellent cook and dancer—even winning a Marines “dance off” competition. Gale gave up his military career to help build Frederick Manufacturing.
“No doubt Gale was a strict military man, but he was always thinking of us and was a positive role model…keeping me on a good path,” Lorenzo says. “Both were wonderful people and are dearly missed.”
The Hawkins’ attorney, Steve Dicus, notified the hospital of this special planned gift. As a member of the Donald H. Chisholm Planned Giving Council, he encouraged the couple to consider the option of giving to Children’s Mercy. They both loved the idea. Helping children, especially those with financial needs, was a cause close to their hearts.
Every Gift Matters
Large or small, a gift in your will to Children's Mercy is a meaningful way to make an impact on young patients and their families. To discuss the impact of your future gift, please contact Phil Watson at (816) 701-4339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.