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William and Betty Schertle Introduce New Generation To GDA

William and Betty SchertleWhen Betty Schertle passed away last year, the trust that she and her husband William (Bill) had drawn up years earlier was read. In the trust, the couple named five charities to be recipients of a portion of their estate, among them was Guide Dogs of America.

Rather than simply sending a check to the charities, the Schertles' niece, Carrie Contreras, chose to hand deliver the disbursement with a biography and photo of the couple, who were married for 65 years.

"Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty came from the '‘'greatest generation' of hardworking Americans who thought of others, respected everyone, were happy to see a beautiful day, and are admired greatly by their proud family," Contreras said. "It was important to me that their memory and generosity were honored, which is why I wanted to meet with Guide Dogs of America."

Her aunt and uncle were private people so she didn't know why they chose the charities they did, but her visits revealed a common thread.

"No one is paying a dime to receive the services provided by these organizations," Contreras said. "That these services are provided free of charge is something that cannot be overstated. It became very clear that my aunt and uncle had considered each charity very carefully before naming it in their trust."

As for Guide Dogs of America, the couple had always had a dog. Her uncle had been diagnosed with macular degeneration in his later years. Contreras feels that, had his vision loss happened at an earlier part of his life, he would have gotten a guide dog.

"We can always learn from our elders," Contreras said. "Carrying out my aunt and uncle's wishes, I learned about GDA, which is actually very close to where we live. My husband and I have always had a Golden Retriever, one of the breeds GDA trains for its blind students. It was meant that I learn about the school and how it provides guide dogs free of charge to their blind students. GDA is now on our list of charities that we give to."

For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.

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