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The Many Beneficiaries of the Leaveys

October 30, 1994|JUDITH MICHAELSON

The Leavey Foundation is housed in a no-frills, one-administrator office at Farmers Group Inc. on Wilshire Boulevard. But its funding decisions are made around Dorothy Leavey's dining room table. Of the six trustees, four are family members.

Although more than 50% of the money goes to a host of Catholic institutions, including Loyola-Marymount University and St. John's Hospital, the list of beneficiaries is quite diverse: the United Negro College Fund; Para Los Ninos, a Skid Row agency aiding homeless families; Childrens Hospital; California Medical Center; the Right to Life League of Southern California; the Music Center, and the California 4-H Foundation, among dozens of others. An original focus, scholarships for children of Farmers employees, still exists.

It was Dorothy Leavey who apparently led her husband to Freedoms Foundation, a nonpartisan educational institution in Valley Forge, Pa. But he came up with the idea of establishing awards, bearing the family name, for educators who excel in teaching about free enterprise.

In tribute to the $4 million in gifts the Leaveys have made to Freedoms Foundation over the years, their portraits hang--along with those of George and Martha Washington--in its reception area.

On a smaller scale, a San Fernando Valley man who gives horseback rides to blind children and retired Marine officers who run a camp at Camp Pendleton for inner-city kids have made good with Leavey money.

Meanwhile, the Leavey Foundation has started breaking in the third generation. Four of the matriarch's grandchildren now attend meetings.

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