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Roberta Balter

Growing up, Neil and Craig Balter remember their mother Roberta as being an altruistic force in everything that she did.

“The one thing my mother instilled upon us more than anything was the perseverance to never give up,” recalls Neil. “She was extremely intelligent and engaging, and everyone she met loved her. She had a very vivacious personality and enjoyed engaging with people, and there was nothing higher to her than providing service to others.”

When Neil’s son Jack was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at 3 years old, he and his wife Lynne discovered SARRC—which had recently opened its doors as Arizona’s newest autism research and resource center—and enrolled their young son in its programs.

After Jack’s diagnosis, Roberta formed a fondness for SARRC; she saw first-hand the positive outcomes her beloved grandson was having through the support he received. Naturally equipped with an energetic eagerness to help, she quickly became involved with the Autism Speaks Walk in partnership with SARRC and Annual Community Breakfast and supported the autism community in her hometown of Las Vegas.

When updating her estate plan, Roberta chose SARRC as the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust—which the family initially created after selling their business—to ensure that the programs and services important to her grandson would also be available for generations to come. The charitable remainder trust allowed Roberta and her husband to receive an income for their lifetimes, with the remainder to be distributed to SARRC.

After Roberta’s passing in 2017, the remainder of the trust’s assets were distributed to SARRC, helping to strengthen its mission for years to come while serving as a powerful tribute to her commitment to individuals with autism and their families.

“She had a very special relationship with Jack,” says Neil. “I saw a wooden box in his room and asked what it was. He told me it was his most prized possession because his grandma gave it to him, and he thinks about her every night. He had told me, ‘I know she loved me to the moon and back and I will keep that box on my nightstand forever.’

“I know that my mom, as well as my brother and I, want only to help SARRC continue their unbelievable mission. We’re assured that her legacy will live on at SARRC through this special planned gift and will serve to remind the boundless compassion she had for all.”

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Legacy Circle member and ensuring the continued vitality and growth of SARRC’s services from one generation to the next, please contact Beth Salazar at [email protected] or 602-340-8717, ext. 1039.