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United Way receives $1 million cash donation

Sonya Priestly and Art Gardenswartz.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — United Way of Central New Mexico recently received a gift of $1 million to help fund the organization’s immediate needs, according to a news release announcing the donation.

Donors Art Gardenswartz and Sonya Priestly made the gift by converting their previous long-term real estate gift into cash contributions, UWCNM spokeswoman Jeanette Brahl wrote.

“The way the $1 million gift is structured ensures we can continue to address needs and improve lives in our community, now and in the future,” UWCNM president and CEO Rodney Prunty said in a statement.

Brahl said Gardenswartz and Priestly were motivated to the convert the donation into a cash donation after seeing the challenges the pandemic has caused for family stability and success for children.

The donation will be divided with $400,000 going to address current needs this year, $450,000 going into an endowment and the remaining $150,000 going to increased annual giving over the next decade for endowment, Brahl said.

Gardenswartz and Priestly had previously purchased the building where UWCNM operated with an agreement to transfer building ownership to UWCNM by 2035. The $1 million cash donation will be made instead of transferring ownership, Brahl said.

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