Alzheimer’s Association gets surprise $27 million donation

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Very few knew that Helen Banas was wealthy or that she was planning on donating her entire estate to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Helen, a resident of Laguna Woods wanted to do something real special for the association…a surprise $27 million gift!  Helen’s connection to the association was through her mother who battled the disease until her passing 20 years ago.  Helen was her mother’s sole caretaker. 

Helen kept a private and frugal life.  When she passed away a few days ago at the age of 95, she left her entire estate to the Alzheimer’s Association.  This came as a complete surprise to most.  She didn’t flaunt her money, she lived in a small townhouse, had very few belongings, and took the bus everywhere.

“She always said that this (current) generation was wasteful,” longtime friend Lydia Rojas said.

The Alzheimer’s Association called the $27 million gift “transformative”.  They normally have an annual budget of $3.8 million.  The donation will help them double their outreach and help roughly 72,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s.

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