Painting a Life of Generous Giving

Harry-and-Ruth-in-Maine-(1).jpgEvery brush stroke mattered to the late Harry Kalish who passed away in 2015. Proud of his watercolors and photography, Kalish, an engineer for Bell Laboratories, donated many of them to line the hallways of Morristown Medical Center.

Kalish worked hard to improve his art and was delighted when a friend told him about a small factory in Ireland that produced custom paintbrushes. Soon after the discovery, he sent his brush designs to the factory and opened Kalish Finest Brushes, an expansion of his art supply business. He and his wife, Ruth Kalish, a tireless fundraiser who passed away in 2017, ran the company throughout his retirement from their home in Florham Park, NJ.  

In addition to donating art, the couple established a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust* to benefit the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center of Excellence Fund and established the Harry and Ruth Kalish Cancer Endowment Fund and the Harry and Ruth Kalish Heart Endowment Fund, to support programs and services at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center and Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.

“Establishing this type of legacy giving vehicle is easy and a win-win for everyone,” Cynthia W. O’Donnell, JD, Foundation for Morristown Medical Center director of gift planning, said. “Not only does the donor’s favorite charity receive funds, but also the donor receives a tax deduction and generates income for themselves at the same time.”

painting.jpgThroughout their lives, the Kalishes, married nearly 70 years, supported many causes, including the PG Chambers School, Paper Mill Playhouse, Morristown Medical Center and many others. The couple’s generosity ensures that Morristown Medical Center can continue to deliver nationally recognized, extraordinary care and build healthier communities throughout Northern New Jersey.

For more information on legacy giving, contact Cynthia W. O’Donnell, JD, director of gift planning, at 973-593-2418, or email

*Charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create. The annuity trust pays you, each year, the same dollar amount you choose at the start. Your payments stay the same, regardless of fluctuations in trust investments.

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