ROCKFORD (WIFR) -– The Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is privileged to announce that they are the recipient of a $720,000 bequest from the estate of James V. Lathers. Mr. Lathers was a Rockford resident through his high school years, graduating from West High School around 1960. After college he moved to California where he lived until his death last year. He was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft and a lifelong music lover. He played the saxophone and had an extensive collection of musical instruments. The RSO is eager to learn more about him.
“When we first received notification of his incredible gift to the RSO we were surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude, but also very disappointed that we never had the opportunity to meet him,” said RSO Executive Director Julie McDonough. “We would love to know what inspired him to make such a generous gift, and we are curious to know his connection to the RSO.”
RSO will be sharing the news of this amazing gift with their audience at the final concert of the season this Saturday, April 20, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
The majority of this gift will become part of the RSO’s endowment fund and it will be invested to provide ongoing revenue in perpetuity, ensuring a strong future for the Rockford Symphony. The Rockford Symphony Orchestra Foundation was established in October 2007 as a separate organization to build a permanent endowment for the benefit of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and its programs. The Foundation oversaw the initial endowment campaign and administers investments to generate annual interest income in perpetuity for the RSO. The Lathers bequest will bring the balance of the fund to about $1.9 million. In 2012, the endowment fund generated more than $37,000 in income for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.