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Leadership Gift Funds Priority Research Needs

Rick and Beth MarcusThe daughter of a doctor, Beth Marcus appreciates the value of medical research and has a particular interest in neurodegenerative disease. Her mother suffered from both Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Not surprisingly, Beth and her husband Richard earmarked a recent $250,000 gift to help fund the most urgent needs of Hebrew SeniorLife’s Institute for Aging Research (IFAR).

The gift is being made through the Marcus Applebaum Fund, which the couple established at HSL in 1992 in honor of their parents. The Fund has helped to support up-and-coming research talent, including Senior Scientist Susan L. Mitchell, M.D., M.P.H., who started her career as an internist and geriatrician and is now a principal investigator on several large dementia research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, among other studies.

“We want the gift to have the most impact it can possibly have, and the only parameter we set is that it be used for research,” Beth explains. “Researchers are the future — we believe it’s a good way to spend our money. By funding the organization’s young, brilliant investigators, we hope to make life better for seniors, and perhaps even find cures for certain diseases.”

The latest gift will be used to bolster IFAR’s research activities in priority areas: for example, to recruit and train the next generation of researchers and faculty, purchase state-of-the-art research technology and equipment or support strategic initiatives like IFAR’s clinical trials program.

The couple’s connection with HSL began when Richard joined the former Men’s Associates (now the Friends of HSL), eventually becoming its president. Today, he is one of HSL’s Trustees.

“We liked Hebrew SeniorLife’s mission of helping the elderly,” he explains. “We liked that they are at the forefront of issues that affect the elderly and improve their lives. All in all, it was an organization we wanted to commit to and support.”