Jim and Stella Westwood were born in Shanghai, China in the early 1920s. With the onslaught of Communism in the 1950s, they fled to Japan. Later they immigrated to San Francisco, and finally settled in a suburb of the Bay Area in 1974. The Westwoods filled the void of a childless home with a menagerie of four-legged children, so it was fitting that they left their estate to “the dogs.”
Jim passed away in 2004; Stella in 2015. As a Legacy Society member, Stella was very connected to Guide Dogs for the Blind and regularly attended a number of Guide Dogs for the Blind events. Graduations were her favorite.
When Stella died, her surrogate daughter and neighbor, Janice Carter, hosted Guide Dogs for the Blind Legacy Society members and friends to celebrate Stella’s life and legacy. “Stella found great joy and peace in knowing that her estate would contribute to Guide Dogs for the Blind’s mission.” Stella would have loved to see the completion of the new Puppy Center. When funding came to Guide Dogs for the Blind through the Westwood estate, construction for the Puppy Center was just beginning. Given her passion for dogs and GDB, we knew Jim and Stella would want to support this project.
The new puppy center, which will provide a safe, warm, and enriching environment for puppies as they begin their journeys to become guide dogs, will open in early 2019. The center will host a Learning Lab where visitors from all over can learn about all parts of the life- changing mission of guide dogs. We will be forever thankful for the support from people who contribute to this project through a current gift or, in Jim and Stella’s case, a legacy gift.
If you are considering including or have included Guide Dogs for the Blind in your will, trust, or as a beneficiary of another estate gift, please let us know. We’d love to have the chance to thank you in advance and invite you to join our Legacy Society. For more information about ways to give, go to our website: guidedogs.com/planned-giving or call us at 800.295.4050.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Puppy Center page!