LSMNJ Foundation Receives its Largest Single Gift of $2 Million

LSMNJ Receives $2 Million Donation

(L to R) Jennifer Cripps, Colleen Frankenfield and Beth Gebhart pose with $2 million check that was received from the estate of Lucille Astrella.

It isn’t often that the staff at LSMNJ’s Foundation gets a call like the one they received last month from Richard Bowe, an attorney in Stanhope, NJ. Mr. Bowe called to notify the Foundation that he was settling the estate for Lucille Astrella, who left Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey in her will.
Born in 1918, Lucille Astrella retired from West New York Board of Education in 1988 after serving 46 years. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jersey City and Marble Collegiate Church in New York City and was often referred to as one of the ‘New Jersey ladies.’ She served as a member of the Marble 60+ social, cultural & spiritual fellowship group for many years.
Ms. Astrella died on June 29, 2015 at the age of 97.  In her will, Ms. Astrella left $2 million to LSMNJ. Ms. Astrella learned about LSMNJ through her Jersey City congregation and supported its work in the City.
Even though The Foundation has received planned gifts many times in the past, Beth Gebhart, executive director of fund development and LSMNJ Foundation, was thrilled to learn of the amount of the donation. “Though I was amazed when I learned of her generous gift, I was not surprised that Ms. Astrella chose LSMNJ,” explains Gebhart. “The work that we do for New Jersey’s less fortunate families and seniors resonates within the hearts of many, and donors, like Ms. Astrella, understand the value in supporting our programs and services.”