By James Ponder


For Violet Molnar, the fact that she enjoys certain benefits from the charitable remainder trust she established with Loma Linda University Health is not nearly so important as knowing she is making a difference in the lives of others.

When Violet Molnar started planning her estate, the desire to share the blessings of life motivated her to choose a charitable remainder trust with Loma Linda University Health. The arrangement could scarcely work better. Violet enjoys knowing that her funds will help educate future generations of students, while she receives a steady income and significant tax benefits.

Violet says she has a lot to be thankful for. Back in 1956, like other youthful citizens of Budapest, Hungary, she grew tired of Soviet oppression in her native land. "We wanted to have freedom like they do in Switzerland," she explains. But when the Hungarian Revolution was violently suppressed less than three weeks after it started, Violet determined to escape to the West.

"The Russians came back with overwhelming force," she recalls. "Young people tried escaping to Austria, but the borders were so well-controlled it was literally a matter of life or death. With God's help, I made it out."

Paul Berman, a Jewish-American scholar, philanthropist, and Presbyterian pastor, helped Violet immigrate to America a year and a half later. "Dr. Berman was a remarkable person," she recalls. "He personally sponsored more than 400 refugees out of his own resources. He had two PhDs and spoke seven languages. We conversed in German until I learned English."

In addition to political liberty, Violet was looking forward to religious freedom when she arrived in this country. "For most of my adult life, I had wanted to become a Seventh-day Adventist," she shares.

Because of that, Dr. Berman invited her to Atlanta, Georgia, to meet an Adventist pastor by the name of Elder R. E. Crawford, religious liberty secretary for the Southern Union of Seventh-day Adventists at the time.

Doctor Berman and Elder Crawford made arrangements for Violet to work at Florida Sanitarium. Later, she transferred to Southern Missionary College to study nursing. "When I told Dr. Berman I was going to study nursing, he said, ‘You can't afford an Adventist college.'" she recalls. "‘Yes I can,' I told him. ‘I have a rich heavenly Father.'"

Violet sighs as she talks about the romance that drifted away. In the early 1960s she met an Iranian student from Madison College on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee. "He was a gorgeous young man," she beams. "Very tall and dark—a member of the royal family in his homeland."

Unfortunately, however, the relationship fell apart when Violet transferred to Columbia Union College in Maryland, 700 miles away. As if that wasn't enough sadness for one year, her mother passed away in Hungary a little bit later.

"I couldn't go home for the funeral because I wasn't an American citizen," she explains. "The Hungarians would have put me in jail for fleeing the country. But I couldn't study, either. I was grieving and my grades came down."

Disturbed by Violet's academic downturn, the head of the nursing program suggested she change her major. Elder Crawford, however, wasn't sure that was a good idea. He asked Violet to clarify her goals. "I told him I wanted to be a nurse," she says. "So he sent me to Atlantic Union College for the two-year RN degree."

After graduating in 1962, Violet worked in Massachusetts until 1965 when friends suggested she move to California. She didn't stay long. Eager to continue her education, she transferred to Walla Walla College (now University) in Washington State. Following her graduation from that school with a B.S. degree in 1973, she accepted a nursing position at Loma Linda University Medical Center and worked for five years.

However, when a supervisor suggested she move to the night shift, Violet hesitated. "I didn't like that," she recalls. "A good friend helped me get a job at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, so I took it. I worked there on the psychiatric unit for 15 years."

After retiring in 1995, she went to work at a satellite psychiatric facility of Corona Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino for another five years. Finally, in 2000—41 years after she arrived in America—Violet retired for good.

She is anything but idle these days. The board of Loma Linda University Church asked Violet to serve as an elder in 1998, and she's been doing it ever since. She also serves the Adventist congregation as a deacon and greeter. That last position is perfectly suited to her outgoing personality and love for people. In her spare time, she raises plants—cacti and Sego palms are her favorites—and loves to travel. She has made numerous trips to Hungary, Romania, and other parts of Europe, and stays in touch with friends through Facebook, Skype, and e-mail.

Violet is proud of being included in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in America as well as of her service to Rotary International. "I was a Harris Fellow in Rotary," she notes. The Paul Harris Fellow honor denotes an individual who has donated a significant amount to one of three or more designated Rotary programs.

Over the years, Violet made several gifts to Loma Linda University Children's Hospital before deciding to establish a charitable remainder trust with Loma Linda University Health.

"I feel good knowing that after I'm gone, the money I worked for will enhance the education of others," she says.

In addition to benefiting Loma Linda University Health, the trust enables Violet to avoid capital gains taxes and receive a tax deduction. Furthermore, the asset is removed from her estate. But in the true spirit of philanthropy, Violet is not primarily concerned with how the trust benefits her.

"Except for the gold in my teeth, I can't take it with me," she grins. "I came to America with $10 in my pocket. Really, truly, I always felt I was helped. I need to return what God blessed me with.

"For me," she concludes, "it's all about the satisfaction of giving to help others."

For further information about exploring planned gift options, such as establishing a charitable remainder trust, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 909-558-4553 or visit

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Loma Linda or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A 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.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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