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Starting a foundation
How I did it: After my husband died on Sept. 11, I set up a scholarship foundation in his name.
November 1, 2005: 1:56 PM EST
By Dening Lohez, as told to Janet Paskin, MONEY Magazine
Dening Lohez, 37, New York City, is starting a foundation to honor her late husband, Jerome.
Dening Lohez, 37, New York City, is starting a foundation to honor her late husband, Jerome.

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - "My husband Jerome was originally from France; he worked as a Software Engineer at One World Trade Center.

"After Sept. 11, I kept hoping for so long that he was all right. Eight months later, I got a knock on my front door from a police officer. I took my husband's remains to France and buried him there.

"I wanted to set up a scholarship in Jerome's name for French students studying at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, which is where we both went. Stevens told me I needed $600,000 to endow a self-sustaining scholarship, or I could establish a smaller fund that would eventually run out. I had only Jerome's life insurance money, so I donated $30,000.

"On the second anniversary of Sept. 11, the French consul general called with his condolences, and I asked if I could use the consulate for a fund raiser. I wrote to the CEOs of French companies and asked them to sponsor it. Grand Marnier supplied the drinks, and a bistro in New York donated the food. We raised $6,000. The following year we raised $23,000.

"Last year I got $3.9 million from the victims fund and decided to start my own foundation, which will grant scholarships to French exchange students. I teach business classes in New York City, but my career isn't quite settled yet, so right now this money is my financial security. I'm seeding the foundation with $100,000 and hope it will grow to $1 million.

"I also signed up for night classes to become a certified financial planner. I'd feel so guilty if I made any mistakes with this money. This is my gift to my husband."  Top of page

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