Sarver Heart Center Endowment Established from Decades of Gift Planning

Planned gifts offer forward-looking donors the opportunity to support Sarver Heart Center without a large up-front gift.  Planned gifts offer substantial tax savings to donors, particularly on appreciation income, allowing reductions in income tax and avoidance of capital gains taxes. In 2020, three previously established planned gifts were received by the Sarver Heart Center and combined to establish the Sarver Heart Center Endowment for Innovation and Advancement.

“These combined gifts, totaling $2.1 million, are uplifting to faculty and staff at any time, but particularly during these current challenging times of uncertainty. Speaking on behalf of all of us at Sarver Heart Center, I’m immensely grateful for these visionary donors who left legacy gifts to support our mission of innovative, life-saving patient care,” said Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of Sarver Heart Center, chief of cardiology and professor of medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine - Tucson. “These gifts support our mission into perpetuity.”

Robert Arida Estate Gift

Robert “Bob” Arida and his brother, Victor, came to Tucson from New York City in 1945 because of their asthma. They became well known and respected financial advisors, not only in Tucson but throughout the Southwestern United States. “They were affectionately referred to as ‘the Arida Boys’,” said Gordon A. Ewy, MD, DSc, professor emeritus and director emeritus of Sarver Heart Center.

Bob Arida, a long-time patient and friend of Dr. Ewy’s, established a legacy gift toward the endowment. “As all leaders in academics know, endowments are critical to the development of sustained excellence,” said Dr. Ewy. 

Gordon A. Ewy, MD, Distinguished Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. Pictured from left: Dr. Ewy, Priscilla Ewy, and Victor, Patricia and Robert Arida.

The entire Arida family, including Victor’s wife, Patricia, were very involved since the beginning of Sarver Heart Center in 1986. In 2002, they celebrated the Gordon A. Ewy, MD, Distinguished Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. Pictured from left: Dr. Ewy, Priscilla Ewy, and Victor, Patricia and Robert Arida.

Lewis Weaks Charitable Remainder Trust

Lewis Weaks portrait A longtime supporter of Sarver Heart Center, Lewis Weaks left a substantial gift to the heart center when he died of cancer in 1994. He also established a charitable remainder trust to benefit his long-time personal assistant, Arnaldo Cabassi. Following Cabassi’s death in 2020, remaining funds from this trust were distributed to Sarver Heart Center and the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Originally from Tennessee, Weaks had an illustrious career as president of the European division of International Harvester. After four decades of service to French agriculture, he was named a Knight of the Order of the French Legion of Honor.

Louis and Mary Allen Estate Gift

The Allens left their entire estate to charity, with 70% going to Arizona Health Sciences, benefiting the Cancer Center, Arthritis Center and Sarver Heart Center.

The couple accessed medical care through University of Arizona Health Sciences. They were pleased with the quality of their care and wanted to support medical education, said their attorney, Phoebe Harris.

“They wanted their estate to better others. The university has a teaching hospital and they were passionate about using their resources to help new doctors,” said Harris.

The Allens supported several causes, said Harris. Louis was an air traffic controller and Mary was a civilian supervisor for the U.S. Army. They married in Georgia in 1951 and moved to Arizona in the 1980s. They were unassuming and didn’t want to be recognized for their philanthropy during their lifetimes.

Planned Gifts Come in Various Forms

“As you can see from above, such planned giving has an enormous impact on our ability to advance our missions of research, education and clinical care,” said Dr. Sweitzer. There are numerous options for planned giving. To learn more or to establish a planned gift, please contact Brian Panique, senior director of development. Email: | Phone: 520-626-4518