Mother Expresses Gratitude with Generous Gift

For the spirited Mary Lou Anton and her son Dean Ghannam, life without Clearbrook just wouldn’t be the same. Ever since graduating from high school in 1980, 48-year-old Dean has worked in Clearbrook’s Workshop and was one of the inaugural members of our onsite residential program in November 1985. “I was the first application in!” said Mary Lou. Dean now shares a house with seven other Clearbrook clients and one staff member in a traditional neighborhood nearby.

Mary Lou says that without the emotional and social outlets at Clearbrook, Dean’s life would not be anywhere near as enriching as it is now. For example, Dean, who has a penchant for radios and calendars, loves to “work a room,” said Mary Lou – no doubt a trait he inherited from his animated mother. “He has a lot of social activities that he would not be involved with if he lived at home. There’s no way I could provide all of those things for him.”

Mary Lou has had a long-standing relationship with Clearbrook and has made charitable gifts over the years. She decided to take advantage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which allows donors over age 70 1/2 to divert up to $100,000 in IRA income distributions to a charitable organization such as Clearbrook.

Because the PPA provisions cease at the end of 2007, Mary Lou hopes that Congress will pass an extension to allow her and others to continue making charitable gifts from their IRAs in future years. “My whole life is patterned around Dean and his needs – where I live, how I spend my money,” said Mary Lou. “What could be better than to provide support for an organization that you have a very strong stake in?”

By giving such a generous gift from her retirement funds, Mary Lou has been able to able to fulfill two goals at one time. “Not only does giving a gift provide Dean with everything he needs now,” she said, “but it also gives me the emotional security of knowing that whenever I’m gone, Clearbrook is still going to be there for him and for other people like him.”