Leaving a legacy of giving beyond one’s lifetime requires dedication, vision, and demonstrates an extraordinary level of caring for others. The LRG honors all those who pledge to continue our life changing work through a gift in their wills, trusts or estate plans with membership in The Rafters Legacy Society. Those who notify the Life Raft Group will receive a certificate of appreciation and special recognition including invitation to special Life Raft Group programs and events. Additionally, Society members are recognized in Life Raft Group materials and publications unless a gift is given anonymously.

The LRG will also establish named legacy funds for those estates and families who wish to continue supporting LRG initiatives beyond the legacy gift. Two Legacy Funds currently support ongoing patient services and research in honor of two Legacy Society members, Mike Matthews and Dr. Arnold Kwart.

The Mike Matthews Fund

Creating a future where there are no more last dances

Photo of Mike Fuller

This fund is named in honor of Mike Matthews, a Life Raft Group founding member and GIST patient whose life and death story has been a source of inspiration not only for the LRG but for cancer patients everywhere. Mike was devoted to his family, community, friends and fellow GIST patients. Taken in the prime of his life, his death serves as a constant reminder that we cannot rest until there is a cure for GIST. On July 24, 2004 in his final days, surrounded by his loving friends and family, Mike asked his wife for a last dance. Those who watched Mike and Val dance for the last time were forever changed by the experience, the image indelibly etched in their hearts and minds. Mike’s family honors his memory and the lives of all those who have danced a last dance by establishing The Mike Matthews Fund to ensure GIST patients everywhere receive expert care until there’s a cure. Read more about Mike including Norman’s tribute on his memoriam page.

The Arnold Kwart Fund

Dedicated to funding research for a cure

Dr. Arnold Kwart was gracious, kind and generous. He was committed to his family, patients, community and friends. He was a dedicated Board Member working tirelessly on behalf of the Life Raft Group’s efforts. He was a true a friend to all those in the GIST community, always offering help and support. The Arnold Kwart Legacy Fund is named in honor of Dr. Arnold Kwart, who despite losing his own battle with GIST wanted to keep fighting the battle for others after his death. Dr. Kwart was the first person to leave a bequest to the Life Raft Group after he died in 2008. The Arnold Kwart Legacy Fund provides ongoing support to fund LRG research for a cure. Though he has left this earth his legacy endures and he remains alive in the hearts and souls of all those who knew him. To Read Arnold’s member story in his own words.

Planned Giving Questions:

Today there are many planned giving options that may be tailored to meet your financial needs today and in the future. If you have questions about what may work best for you, contact your financial advisor. If you should have any questions about our program, contact Diana Nieves at the LRG at 973-837-9092 ext. 102.

Next Steps:

Contribute to the Cure – Join the Patient Registry

Patients & Caregivers – Be a part of the LRG Community for support & awareness