Bob Glenn was passionate. He believed strongly in family, a good education and giving back to his community. Philanthropy wasn't just important to Bob—it was a way of life. Today, Bob's legacy of generosity is helping to transform the lives of countless children—including the lives of his own granddaughters.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Bob grew up with the influence of his parents, Jack and Anne, who believed in quietly giving back to those in need.
"I think my father's passion for giving back started with his parents—my grandparents," says Saunders Bohan, Bob's daughter. "They were always silently helping children in need with their education. My dad and his brothers were raised seeing the difference that giving back can make."
That influence was so strong that in 2004, Bob and his brothers created the Jack and Anne Glenn Charitable Foundation to honor their parents and make a lasting difference in the community. The foundation's mission statement is serving disadvantaged youth and their families who are at risk of poor educational, social and health outcomes. The Jack and Anne Glenn Foundation has supported many organizations in Georgia and beyond, including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Marcus Autism Center—a cause close to Bob's heart.
A devoted grandfather, Bob took a vested interested in Marcus Autism Center when Saunders' twin daughters Lilly and Sarah were diagnosed with autism.
"We noticed when they were 3 years old that they weren't keeping up developmentally with their peers," Saunders says. "Their diagnosis really changed our world. Twins are hard as it is, but this made it even more of a challenge."
Saunders says there was not a lot of support in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area where she lives, and only one developmental pediatrician equipped to diagnose and treat autism. Her father encouraged her to bring her daughters to Marcus Autism Center. For Saunders, it was life- changing.
"It was great," she says. "Every single one of our experiences was just so positive. We did the toilet training program there two years ago, and that was incredible. It's given us so much more freedom."
Bob saw firsthand the difference Marcus Autism Center made for his young granddaughters and decided to support its efforts by making Marcus Autism Center the beneficiary of a $200,000 individual retirement account.
"He wanted to leave something to Marcus Autism Center not just to benefit my children, but to help so many others," Saunders says. "It's such a wonderful organization, and the work they're doing is so important."
When Bob passed away in 2016, his promise became a gift. Being involved in the Jack and Anne Glenn Foundation along with her sisters, Anne Fitten Glenn and Amanda Brady, as well as Bob's three brothers and their children, Saunders knew the family foundation could make an even greater difference.
"The foundation wanted to make a gift in my father's name" Saunders says. "My dad had always supported the idea of endowments and believed in giving a meaningful gift that would make a difference for a long time."
With an additional $50,000 gift by the Jack and Anne Glenn Foundation, the Robert J. Glenn Autism Research Endowment was created which will exist in perpetuity.
"I think my father would be absolutely thrilled and proud," Saunders says.
Betsy, Bob's wife of nearly 17 years, agrees her husband would love knowing his legacy was helping so many through an endowment that will offer support indefinitely.
"Bob felt that he'd been blessed and wanted to help others," Betsy says. "He felt very strongly about Marcus Autism Center. He never liked recognition, but he was kind and passionate. I think he would be very pleased."
Every gift matters
By including a gift to Children's in your long-term plans, you can make a big difference for our patients and their families. Contact Mary L. McCormack at 404-785-9481 or Cell: 706-540-2885 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can help make kids healthier today and tomorrow.