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Legacy Donor Gives a Boost to The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature and Sarasota Orchestra

Manatees at The Bishop Museum of Science and NatureBill McGrath might not have imagined that grants from his legacy fund would be awarded when a public health crisis canceled performances and closed museums during season. But today, his generous gift is helping two local nonprofit organizations at an important time.

Bill established the William P. McGrath Fund at Manatee Community Foundation to support The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature and Sarasota Orchestra, two of his favorite organizations in retirement.

The first two grant awards from the fund were distributed this week, each $114,000, providing flexible support for programs and operations.

Brynne Anne Besio, CEO of The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, fondly remembers Bill’s passion for knowledge.

“Bill was naturally curious and enjoyed learning, and was devoted to helping others enjoy it also. He was always smiling and we all appreciated his sense of humor.”

“We are truly honored to have had Bill McGrath’s support over the years and to have it now. It’s quite fitting that this funding would come through now, at such a challenging time. Bill continues to ‘be there’ for us all.”

Bill grew up in Plant City, Florida. He spent 35 years teaching in Florida and for the Department of Defense in overseas high school classrooms.

“He was a loyal patron of the Orchestra at Neel Performing Arts Center and an occasional chamber concert attendee at Holley Hall. There is no greater legacy than a music lover like Bill, so generously supporting countless others so their lives and spirits can be enriched and lifted through music. A most generous act indeed,” said Joe McKenna, president and CEO of Sarasota Orchestra.

Manatee Community Foundation partners with caring people to support their philanthropy during their lifetimes and with personal charitable legacy planning based on the specific wishes donors wish to see carried out into the future.