Donation Makes A Splash

In 1989, Helen Ames of Oakland, in her capacity as the president of the Charity League, made a generous contribution to support Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind. The $30,000 endowment fund supported sending low-income campers to Enchanted Hills. In 2011, in the wake of the financial crisis, a new law was implemented that affected endowment funds. The Uniform Prudent Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) required a hard separation of funds held under endowment from the LightHouse’s general portfolio. To comply, we transferred the endowment funds which had grown to $36,000 into a sequestered savings account, where it accrued limited interest. It was suggested by our contracted auditor that we contact the donor to request to use the corpus of the endowment for capital improvements.

Though Ms. Ames has passed, her grandson, Lawrence Ames III of San Francisco, graciously agreed to the proposal that we use his mother’s legacy to rejuvenate the pool area at Enchanted Hills. This winter, Ms. Ames, through her bequest, enabled us to remodel the bath and shower house; purchase a new filter, solar pool blanket and efficient heating system for the pool; install an accessible wheelchair lift and replace the tired pool furniture, tables, chairs and chaises. Thank you to the Ames family and all who contributed to the Charity League!

Contributions to the LightHouse and Enchanted Hills can sometimes provide physical improvements to our facilities, but more importantly our programs initiate change for the blind babies through gray hairs who benefit from the joy and learning offered by the LightHouse. To learn more about planned giving or to make a gift, contact 415-694-7333 or

Girl swimming in pool at Enchanted Hills Camp