$787,000 Gift Given to Cody Center, Stony Brook Children’s

Carol Feltmate (second from right), executrix of the McGrath estate, presents a check to Dr. Peg McGovern (second from left) and Dr. John Pomeroy (right), founding director of the Cody Center. Looking on is attorney Ralph Fresolone.

The estate of the late Phillip and Carolyn McGrath of Port Jefferson, New York, has bequeathed $787,712 to Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital and The Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Through the couple’s bequest, Stony Brook Children’s and The Cody Center will each receive $393,856, for a total contribution of $787,712. The couple’s gifts are being matched, respectively, by The Simons Foundation and an anonymous donor, for a total of $1.57 million; it is the largest gift to The Cody Center since its founding in 2001.

The gift from the McGrath’s estate came about from the couple’s personal interest in helping the daughter of a friend, attorney Ralph Fresolone of Hauppauge, New York.

“During their final years they took particular interest in my young daughter, who is on the autism spectrum,” Fresolone said. The McGraths, who had no children of their own, expressed that they wanted to do something for his daughter and asked that he recommend a charity that was dedicated to the welfare of children with disabilities.

Fresolone told them about The Cody Center and the care that the nurturing physicians and staff have provided his family and daughter over the years. He also told the McGraths about Stony Brook’s new children’s hospital. “Without hesitation they asked me to make certain that I provide a prominent place in their estate plan for The Cody Center and Stony Brook Children’s,” he said.

“Offering a facility where we can continue to provide the most advanced care for the community’s children is an enormous undertaking – and it is one we cannot do alone,” said Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and physician-in-chief, Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. “The generous and thoughtful bequest from the McGrath estate will allow us to create a higher standard of children’s healthcare and attract pediatric specialists and research funding.”

The McGraths’ gift will support hiring a clinical investigator to conduct research designed to benefit patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related developmental disabilities at The Cody Center.

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