The late Phillip and Carolyn McGrath of Port Jefferson have bequeathed $787,712 from their estate to Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital and to The Cody Center at Stony Brook, which is devoted to autism spectrum disorders and related developmental disabilities.
The donation will be matched by an anonymous donation and another from The Simons Foundation for a total gift of $1.57 million.
"The generous and thoughtful bequest from the McGrath estate will allow us to create a higher standard of children’s healthcare, and attract pediatric specialists and research funding,” Dr. Margaret McGovern, physician-in-chief at Stony Brook Children's, said in a statement.
The hospital said the $393,856 gift to the Cody Center – the largest since its inception in 2001 through a $2.5 million donation by Matt and Debra Cody of Port Jefferson – will facilitate the hiring of a clinical investigator to conduct research to benefit children with autism spectrum disorders. The remaining $393,856 gift will benefit programs at Stony Brook Children's.
Dexter Bailey Jr., vice president for advancement at Stony Brook University, said the McGraths' contribution "will impact generations to come."
According to family friend Ralph Fresolone, an attorney from Hauppauge, the McGraths had no children of their own but took a special interest in his own daughter, who is on the autism spectrum. Fresolone said he told the McGraths about the wonderful work being done at Stony Brook Children's and The Cody Center. "Without hesitation they asked me to make certain that I provide a prominent place in their estate plan for The Cody Center and Stony Brook Children’s," Fresolone said.
The McGraths, who spent 73 years together, lived in New Hyde Park for many years before coming to Port Jefferson. Fresolone called them “two of the most caring and loving people I have ever met.”