A Lifetime of Impact


One of Bethesda's longtime donors, Al Troyke, posthumously received the Leave a Legacy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Southeastern Wisconsin (AFPSE).

The award was given for his unwavering commitment to the community through a documented planned gift at the 40th annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration in Milwaukee.

“Al was one of the most selfless donors Bethesda has been blessed to know, and he demonstrated his love for Bethesda’s mission through a lifetime of support,” said Katey Higgins, development director for Bethesda. “He gave generously through gifts of stock, cash and gift annuities to help make a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After his passing this year at age 97, he left a truly transformative legacy gift to Bethesda.”

Troyke made a career as an executive in finance and accounting for AT&T in New York and New Jersey. Troyke and his late wife, Laura, had two daughters, one born with disabilities. To support their daughter’s development, they had heard of Bethesda and knew it would be the perfect place for their daughter. She came to Bethesda in 1966 and soon after their daughter found a home, Troyke and his wife relocated to Chicago, where Troyke continued to work for AT&T, and then finally to the Watertown area, where they visited their daughter regularly.

Through the years, Troyke gave of his time and talents. He volunteered with the parent group and many other opportunities within the organization, including delivering mail to people supported at Bethesda. By all accounts, he lived a very simple, frugal lifestyle and gave all he had to help enrich the lives of those in his community.

“National Philanthropy Day is the day we recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that philanthropy –  and philanthropists – have made to our communities,” said Higgins. “Al continued to leave a lasting impression on all who knew him until his passing. This world was blessed to have 97 years of Al Troyke in it, and his pure loving, giving and grateful attitude will continue to inspire me as well as many others for years to come. I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive AFPSE’s Leave a Legacy Award.”

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