(Press release from Pathfinder Village)

Pathfinder Village formally announced receipt of a $1.2 million bequest that establishes the J. Couper Lord Jr. Endowment, an unrestricted gift that will benefit the world renowned non-profit residential community that supports people with intellectual disabilities.

The announcement was made at The Otesaga Resort Hotel at Pathfinder’s annual Pro-Am and Tennis Classic Awards Banquet, part of an annual week of fund raising events that support residential and student scholarships at Pathfinder Village.  Barbara Edwards and Lisa Gillespie, both of Southampton, sisters of the late Mr. Lord, made the special announcement.

The endowment was created through a planned gift by J. Couper Lord, Jr., a businessman and avid golfer who passed away in 2004.  The endowment was made in remembrance of the family’s sister, Ruth Lord, 1958-1995, who resided at Pathfinder for many years.  The gift also honors the many contributions of the siblings’ mother, Barbara Hartley Lord of Southampton, who passed away in April and was a lifelong advocate of community and charitable organizations.

Before an enthusiastic audience, Mrs. Lord and Mrs. Gillespie lovingly spoke of their late sister, who had Down syndrome and other health issues, sharing how she determinedly achieved her life goals and had a lasting impact on others.  Ruth’s indomitable spirit led family members to dedicate themselves to helping others through careers in teaching, special education, and medicine.

“Our brother, who shared a special closeness with Ruth, also chose to help others.  But he chose a different path.  Through his estate, he established a lasting gift to support people with disabilities and the continuing work of Pathfinder Village.  Tonight, we are proud to announce the establishment of the $1.2 million J. Couper Lord Jr. Endowment,” said Mrs. Edwards.

“Ruth and Coupie’s story is one of faith, family, and loyalty,” said Village Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers, in expressing deep gratitude to the extended Lord Family.  “Pathfinder continues to be one of the most admired residential communities in the world through its innovative programs, beautiful setting, and commitment to its mission, ‘that each life may find meaning.’  The Lord Family understood the value of our inclusive community not only for Ruth, but also for others who dream of a life full of meaning for their loved ones with Down syndrome and related disabilities.”

“This remarkable gift will continue the tremendous work at Pathfinder, which has always been focused on ‘better before bigger’ as it has served families across the world since opening in 1980,” continued Mr. Landers.  “Building our endowments is vital to our sustainability; the Lord Endowment will be invested in our infrastructure, help us develop our workforce, and enhance programs and services for the individuals and families we support.”

Pathfinder Village is an internationally respected open-access community in upstate New York, and was founded in 1980 to provide people living with Down syndrome and other disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle. As it works to provide quality supports for older individuals living with ID, the Village also offers highly successful educational, pre-vocational and outreach programs.  To learn more, visitwww.pathfindervillage.org, or visit our fan page on the popular social networking site, Facebook.