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Madison Non-Profit Is Recipient Of Henry Dudek Estate

March 1, 2009

There is probably no greater pain felt from the economic whirlwind wreaking havoc on financial investments these days, than what non-profits are experiencing.  Even in robust economic times there is never enough money to operate in the fashion that most non-profits understand is desirable, given the needs and opportunities that exist around them.   So it is understandable how the substantive and generous bequest from the estate of Henry Dudek will positively impact a local non-profit in Madison. 

Henry Dudek was a founder of New Harvest Foundation in 1984, and felt deeply about its mission and causes.  New Harvest Foundation is the only foundation in Dane County that channels charitable contributions exclusively to organizations working to promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) rights, services, culture and community development.    With the bequest from the Henry Dudek estate, New Harvest can replenish their endowment fund to the desired level, and utilize the other portion for ongoing efforts in the non-profit’s mission statement.

News of the bequest was made known Saturday night at the non-profit’s 25th annual dinner and dance at the Madison Concourse.  In attendance as guests at the event was the ‘Madison Family’ of Henry Dudek, which included Beth Hastings, Frank Hastings, Gregory Humphrey, Paulette Quick, Rolf Rodefeld, and James Wilson. 

There was never any doubt about the generosity of  Henry Dudek when he was alive.  Since his passing it is clear that he placed value in helping others even when he would no longer be around to see the results of his kindness.    As he mentioned to James and myself often, he appreciated acts of generosity in others, feeling that is was the proper way to conduct one’s life. 

It was that thought that flashed through my mind as I listened on Saturday night to the speaker at the dinner who reflected on Henry Dudek, and made the bequest announcement.  For whatever reason an old song came to my mind.  I smiled inwardly at the memory of the lyrics, and knew though Henry had most likely never heard of the song or the singer, that the words nontheless very well could have been written about him.

Falling Leaves

Falling leaves that lie scattered on the  ground,
The birds and flowers that were here cannot be found.
All the friends that he once knew are not  around.
They’re all scattered like the leaves upon the ground.

Some folks drift along through life and never thrill,
To the feeling that a good deed brings until,
It’s too late and they are ready to lie down,
There beneath the leaves that’s scattered on the ground.

Lord, let my eyes see every need of every man,
Make me stop and always lend a helping hand,
Then when I’m laid beneath that little grassy  mound,
There’ll be more friends around than leaves upon the ground.

To your grave there’s no use taking any gold,
You cannot use it when it’s time for hands to fold,
When you leave this earth for a better home someday,
The only thing you’ll take is what you gave away.

Grandpa Jones

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