Monday, February 25

Gay man bequeaths $65 million to LGBT groups

Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft's first five employees, has left tens of millions of dollars of his estate to a fund to benefit eleven LGBT charities. The bequest includes multi-million dollar gifts to Seattle's Pride Foundation, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The website PageOneQ reports:

The bequest, the largest ever in support of the LGBT movement, will establish a fund at the Pride Foundation in the amount of $65 million. The largest will support the foundation's grantmaking programs, an amount the Seattle Times has reported as $19 million. An additional $46 million in the fund will be distributed to national LGBT charities. The Pride Foundation provides scholarships and grants to LGBT students and organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Weiland, a Seattle resident, was a former board member and volunteer at the organization.

After the Pride Foundation grant, the second largest gift in the bequest was to Lambda Legal, an organization that seeks LGBT equality through legal work and advocacy in state and federal courts. The gift to Lambda, in excess of $10 million, like the other bequests, will be distributed over the course of eight years.
PageOneQ reports that Weiland was high school friends with Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The website also says that Weiland committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot in June of 2006 and is survived by his partner Mike Schaefer, and nieces and nephews.

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