Why I Give: Martha Berman
In 1924, the same year Riley Hospital for Children first opened its doors, competitive swimmer Marven Lasky arrived in Indianapolis from his hometown of Duluth, Minn. He came in order to enter Olympic trials, and although he just missed making the cut, he found himself at home in a new community that he would grow to love.
Lasky became a successful businessman, community leader and philanthropist, proudly serving as a Life Governor for Riley Memorial Association, the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital which is known today as Riley Children’s Foundation. He passed away in 1998, but his legacy lives on at Riley thanks to a generous gift made in his honor.
“It’s just a way of honoring a unique man who loved Indianapolis, was active in the community and was a wonderful father,” says Martha Berman Lipp, Lasky’s daughter. “I love that his legacy is being continued serving newborns.”
The Berman Family Foundation gift made in Marven Lasky’s honor provided seed funding to build Riley’s new Neuro NICU program, which offers enhanced brain monitoring for at-risk newborns. Berman and her husband Robert Lipp, who live in New York, NY, have since made additional gifts to Riley in honor of their 12 grandchildren. Several of the grandchildren, along with their parents, visited Riley Hospital last year. “We met with impressive doctors and Riley Children’s Foundation leadership, and it was terrific,” says Berman Lipp. “They helped my children and grandchildren see how Riley is an important part of our family history.”
That personal attention has helped the family feel confident that their gifts to Riley Children’s Foundation are being put to good use. “It’s about the best follow-up I’ve ever experienced,” Berman Lipp says. “I know the money is being spent the way we intended.”
Carrying on her father’s legacy of support for the children of Riley Hospital has provided Berman Lipp a deeply personal way to fulfill her own passion for helping sick children. As she says, “Giving hope to these kids is the most important thing there is.”