Skip to Content

Member Spotlight: Eliezer and Fiordaliza Rodriguez

Eliezer (Eli) and Fiordaliza (Lisa) Rodriguez

Pictured (right to left): Lisa Rodriguez, Eli Rodriguez, and Sharlene Brown - Executive Director, Bronx Y

Eliezer (Eli) and Fiordaliza (Lisa) Rodriguez are both members and supporters of the Bronx YMCA. Eli has also been a board member for five years and now chairs the Bronx Y board.

Finding the YMCA With Mr. Bronx
Eli: I first set foot in the Bronx YMCA about 10 years ago. I had a personal experience with someone who was a big supporter of the Bronx Y who took me under his wing.

His name was Elias Karmon. He took a liking to me and started nurturing me. Every elected official knew him and called him Mr. Bronx. He earned the name because he represented the Bronx wherever he went. He died at the young age of 97. The Bronx Y indoor pool and basketball court are named after him.  

He always quoted Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz: "If you are looking for your heart's desire, there is no need to look further than your own backyard." He gave the Y all of his love. He said to me before passing away, "I'm leaving the Y in your hands."

Lisa: The first time I learned about the Y was at an event that Elias Karmon invited us to. And we were so impressed by the presentation and so moved by the stories that were shared that we ended up sponsoring a child for summer day camp.

Tae Kwon Do Program Gives Back to Kids
Eli: Now we help mentor children with the Tae Kwon Do program. The master of the Bronx Y Tae Kwon Do program goes far beyond what is expected, even teaching kids how to protect themselves from bullying.

My sons, 8 and 11 years old, are now black belts in Tae Kwon Do. They have grown up in the YMCA system-after school programs, baseball and even those Tae Kwon Do classes. The instructor would have me speak to the children about bullying in other areas-to show how this transferable skill from the defense of the body can help them behave in school and get better grades.

At the Y, I have observed a sense of freedom for kids. They gain a sense of independence and confidence, especially when they start achieving something. They start to find out who they are. They realize that they can do that kick or block, that punch, and they see they have more skills than before they walked into the YMCA.

The Heritage Society

Lisa: It's wonderful. We see the benefit that the Y has and the impact it has on our children. That's why we have no problem encouraging our friends to participate with the Y, and supporting programs such as The Heritage Society. We want our children to continue benefitting from the Y, even after we've passed on.

Still Going Strong

Eli: People want to know why our kids are so engaging, why they are so involved in things, where they get their energy. It's because they realize the things they can do-things they've learned by participating in Y programs. The Y really, really works. A hundred and sixty years later, it is still going strong.

Once you believe in the Y, you want to see that it lives on. That's why we support the Y through The Heritage Society-to ensure that all of these wonderful programs, values and skills are available to the next generation of New York kids.

We get a lot from the YMCA, so belonging to The Heritage Society doesn't feel like we are giving them something. The Y is giving us so much more.

If you're interested in joining The Heritage Society or giving a planned gift of your own, please contact Patti Davis at (212) 630-9625 or pdavis@ymcanyc.org.

To read the stories of two more longtime friends and members of The Heritage Society, as well as detailed information on our endowment and planned giving program, click here to see our 2012 Endowment Annual Report.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the YMCA of Greater New York 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 the YMCA of Greater New York, a nonprofit corporation currently located at New York, NY, 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 New York City’s YMCA 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 New York City’s YMCA 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 New York City’s YMCA 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 New York City’s YMCA where you agree to make a gift to New York City’s YMCA 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

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.