Honor, Celebrate, and Remember – Gifts that move the mission forward

Written By: Doris Downing



noun 1. an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration. (Oxford dictionary)


Over the next ten weeks, many of us will purchase hundreds of dollars in gifts as the holiday season approaches. I often struggle to find the right gift to let someone know how much they have touched my life. A meaningful way to remember or celebrate a loved one is to support something the person is passionate about. Tribute gifts are a way of honoring the individual, while paying it forward to the organization that has made an impact on his or her life.


How do tribute gifts work?

When Laurie’s mother turned 70, she knew she wanted to do something that would establish a lasting legacy for her mom. She remembered that during her mother’s battle with breast cancer, she always found guidance and comfort at the Cancer Wellness Center. She forged lasting friendships from the connections she made with people in various classes and support groups.

Laurie decided to make a tribute gift to the Center by purchasing a tribute brick in her mother’s name using appreciated securities. At first she was going to write a check for the brick, but then learned that she could increase the value of her gift to the Center by donating appreciated securities. She was able to help provide funding towards programming and received a federal income tax charitable deduction (through itemizing) and eliminated capital gains taxes on the securities. Every day, those who walk through our doors are greeted by the names on bricks of those who have taken the journey before them, including Laurie’s mother.


When is a tribute gift appropriate?

Tribute gifts can be made at any time for a variety of reasons:

Honor – Recognize someone who has made an impact on your life such as a friend, a family member, a teacher, a minister, a physician, a nurse or a neighbor. Honoring someone who has made a difference in your life is a great way to thank them.

Celebrate – In lieu of gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, religious occasions, or other milestones, suggest that friends and family make a donation

Remember – Make a gift in memory of a loved one to express sympathy or pay respect.


What types of tribute gifts are available at the Center?

Tribute cards are a meaningful way to commemorate special occasions or memorialize the passing of a loved one. When your gift is received, the Center will send a beautiful custom card to the person you designated to inform them of your thoughtful donation. (The gift amount is confidential; we only acknowledge the sentiment)

Tribute bricks began as part of a campaign that started in 1996 as a way to beautify the entrance and honor and remember loved ones and supporters of the Center.


A grapevine sculpture is prominently displayed at the Center and provides a beautiful, meaningful and permanent way for you to memorialize or honor a loved one. Leaves in different colors and sizes, and grapes that may contain up to 10 names, are available for inscription.


Memorials are created when you designate the Center as the choice for charitable contributions through a loved one’s obituary. This public notification helps create greater awareness of the Cancer Wellness Center as a resource for others living with cancer. The name of your loved one will be added to the memorial plaque permanently displayed in the Center.

Keep in mind that there are many different funding options with varying tax advantages available for tribute and memorial gifts such as gifts of cash, stock, donor advised funds, assets from donors’ estates, and much more. Consult with your financial advisor for details.

If a loved one has been touched by cancer, consider making a gift in their name to the Cancer Wellness Center as it will be a lasting tribute to your loved one and make a difference in the lives of those we serve.