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Kathy and Jim Pender Leave a Legacy of Support

At age 20, Kathy Pender knew she wanted to work with special-needs children, so she volunteered as a reading tutor at Beech Brook.

After graduating from college, Mrs. Pender taught at Orange Schools, where she again encountered children from Beech Brook. Years later, she worked with children in Residential Treatment and at Gund School during her psychology internship.

“Clearly my path was to work with special-needs children and to be a part of Beech Brook,” Mrs. Pender said. “Fifty years later, I am still involved in this amazing and outstanding organization. As a board member, I continue to be in awe of the work done here. When I married Jim, he joined me and supported my love for this organization. He is presently a member of the Advisory Board.”

Strong advocates for children and families, the Penders established a foundation in memory of their son Michael, who died in 1991.

“Michael lived with severe disabilities for 11 years before his death,” Mrs. Pender said, “and his mission was to set up a program for children with special needs. What better way to assign funds from this foundation to carry on Michael’s mission.”

The Pender’s commitment to helping children achieve healthier lives and grow up in nurturing, loving families runs so deep that they have planned for long-term support of Beech Brook.

“We have established a permanent fund that will allow funds to be distributed to Beech Brook each year after our deaths. This is our legacy to reinforce our passion and love for Beech Brook—and the work that is being done by a dedicated executive team and loyal, talented staff.”