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From 4-H Farm Girl to Mote Donor

Shirley Fein

Shirley Fein has named Mote the sole beneficiary in her charitable remainder unitrust.

Shirley Fein never slows down. Maybe it's because she was raised that way, on a Connecticut dairy and poultry farm where real labor and long hours were all in a day's work. She helped to feed the animals. She was her father's helper as they delivered milk and eggs door to door. And she did a myriad other daily chores. She also excelled as a 4-H girl and won many blue ribbons for her homemaking projects.

Shirley first learned about the marine world in high school in nearby Jewett City, a small town not far from the coast. She did not go on to college (at that time), as it was a privilege only accorded to her brothers. She was 21 years old when she left the farm and moved on to new adventures in New York City.

New Adventures
Shirley found entry-level employment in the garment industry, quickly rising to a sales position in baby clothing where she worked for many years. Her life took a lovely turn when she met a young New Yorker, Arnold Fein. He was working in the insurance and pension plans field and was thrilled to be invited to the farm where he met Shirley's parents and brothers. They married and, in due course, a girl child was born. Tina Debra grew up to be both beautiful and highly intelligent, which was no surprise.

When Tina was in high school, Shirley enrolled at St. Peter's University in New Jersey, where they lived at the time, and earned a degree in humanities with emphasis on world religions, music and writing. She graduated cum laude!

Exploring the Marine World
Both Shirley and Arnold had an early interest in travel and added to their marine knowledge as they travelled the world. On a cruise in the Indian Ocean they met Jacques Cousteau, who was familiar with Mote Marine Laboratory and knew Kumar. It was a thrilling encounter. Arnold, for his part, had an abiding love of the sea and fishing, which he enjoyed when they vacationed in Florida. After retirement, they took up permanent residence on Longboat Key and quickly became involved in community affairs.

They became active volunteers for many organizations. Among their keenest interests were the research programs of Mote Marine Laboratory. Arnold and Shirley both became major donors and members of the Mote Legacy Society. Arnold named Mote Marine Laboratory as a beneficiary in his charitable remainder unitrust and served on the Mote Advisory Council until his death in 2010, when Shirley was invited to take his seat on the Council. She has named Mote the sole beneficiary in her own C.R.U.T.

Show Your Support
There are many ways to support Mote's Marine Science and Education programs. You may want to talk to The Development Office at 941-388-4441, Ext. 309 or via email at You'll be glad you did.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

The official bequest language for Mote Marine Laboratory is: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Mote Marine Laboratory [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose." 

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Mote or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mote as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mote as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Mote where you agree to make a gift to Mote and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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