Bea Arthur Leaves 300K To Gay Youth.
And this is another reason why we will always love Bea.
Golden Girls” star Bea Arthur’s generosity lives on.
The actress, who died in April, included a $300,000 donation to New York’s Ali Forney Center, an organization supporting homeless LGBT youth, in her will, leaving center Executive Director Carl Siciliano overwhelmed by her kindness.
Siciliano said he knew of Arthur’s plan to include the center in her will, but never knew the amount.
He had been struggling to keep the doors of the shelter open. The organization assists more than 1,000 people each year, providing shelter for those who had to leave home “for being who they are,” Siciliano said.
“The last year and a half, since the economic crisis started, it’s been really hard to keep this program going,” Siciliano said. “A lot of the foundation and corporate money that we used to get has dried up, and we’ve been growing. Every day, we have about 125 kids a night waiting to get into our housing.”
But on Tuesday morning, a FedEx carrier delivered a $300,000 check.
Siciliano said he immediately started to cry. Arthur’s donation couldn’t have come at a better time.
“For months, I’ve been really sweating to make each payroll, and we’re usually a month or two behind on our rent, and there have been times when I was afraid that I wasn’t going to hold it together,” he said. “That kind of terror of [trying to] keep this thing going has come to an end for now with this extraordinary generosity.”
Arthur’s relationship with the center goes back to 2005, when the stage and screen star agreed to do a benefit at the request of a former set designer to help ease the center’s growing pains.
“At that time we were a really small, grassroots organization. We were only sheltering 12 kids at a time,” Siciliano said.
The amazing thing, he added, is that Arthur “didn’t realize at that point what a serious issue it was, that so many thousands of gay kids were on the streets of our country.”