“Jeopardy!” Champion’s Donation to Naperville Cancer Charity Sets Example for Philanthropic Giving

giving, Naperville estate planning attorneyIn today’s world, most people are constantly being asked to donate to one cause or another. You can hardly go into a store or open your mail without seeing some type of donation request.

As a practicing lawyer and a proud member of the Naperville community, I understand that charitable organizations provide a wide range of valuable services to their intended beneficiaries. I also know that those who donate often gain a sense of personal satisfaction from helping people in need or those suffering from a serious illness or debilitating condition. With that in mind, I regularly assist clients in setting up philanthropic giving plans both for the remainder of their lives and in their estate plans.

An Amazing Streak of Success

Earlier this month, former Naperville resident James Holzhauer completed a mind-boggling run on the television quiz show Jeopardy!—finally losing after winning 32 consecutive games. During his streak, he compiled winnings totaling more than $2.4 million. Only Ken Jennings, in a similarly well-publicized streak in 2004, won more games and more money in the show’s 60-year history.

The streak, however, was partially overshadowed by an announcement from earlier this year that the long-time host of Jeopardy! was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Alex Trebek announced his diagnosis in March, and in recent weeks, he seems to be winning his battle so far.

Local Woman Invites Game Show Winner to Cancer Walk

Meanwhile, here in Northern Illinois, organizers were putting together this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk to be held on July 14, 2019, at the Naperville Pavilion. One of the walk leaders, a woman named Ann Zediker, decided to reach out to Holzhauer and invite him to the walk. Considering Holzhauer’s connection to the area, his run on television, and the coincidence of Alex Trebek’s diagnosis, Zediker thought the invitation made sense. “My gut told me it was the right thing to do,” she said.

Zediker and the other organizers were not too surprised when Holzhauer responded to the invite by saying that he would not be in the area on the day of the walk. They were delighted, however, when he said that he would send a donation. According to walk official’s, Holzhauer kept his promise and donated $1,109.14 with the message, “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors. The seemingly odd amount is actually symbolic; Holzhauer’s daughter Natasha was born on November 9, 2014.

Walk organizers promise that 100 percent of every dollar raised will be used for pancreatic cancer research.

Philanthropic Giving in Your Estate Plan

Any type of charitable giving is admirable and deserving of recognition, including one-time donations. Depending on your family’s financial situation, however, you might wish to create an ongoing legacy of philanthropic giving through charitable trusts, living trusts, and other estate planning tools. There may even be tax benefits available for doing so. A qualified estate planning lawyer can help you explore all of your charitable giving options.

Call a DuPage County Trusts Lawyer Today

For more information about philanthropic giving both during your lifetime and beyond, contact an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney at the Gierach Law Firm. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today.


Chicago Tribune

2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk


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