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Springfield Home for the Elderly changes name to Mason-Wright Foundation

SPRINGFIELD In what could be described as an "historic" name change, Springfield Home for the Elderly, one of Springfield's oldest non-profits, has changed its name to Mason-Wright Foundation. The donor-supported foundation operates the Mason-Wright Retirement Community with a mission to serve low-income elderly men and women. The retirement community, with a total of 118 assisted living, dementia care and independent living units, is located on Walnut Street in Springfield. Its history traces to 1892, when Primus Mason, a real estate entrepreneur, left a bequest of $25,000 to found "a home for aged men" in Springfield. Another spectacular gift was made in 1944 when Horace P. Wright, a cigar manufacturer, made provisions in his will for more than $500,000 to be directed to the foundation. Mason was an African-American and Wright was Caucasian. For both, their bequests to the foundation were their largest gifts, far exceeding the amounts they left to relatives or other charitable organizations. The name change was voted by the Trustees at the foundation's 110th annual meeting to honor the "blending of two cultures" that has long provided support for service to the elderly, particularly the elderly poor, and has enabled equal access for men and women of all races and national origins since its founding. The foundation's new Web address is www.masonwrightfoundation.org.

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