Betty Ford wills $500K to Ford Center

Aug. 11, 2011 at 3:56 PM
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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Former first lady Betty Ford left $500,000 to the California addiction treatment center she co-founded after her own battle with alcoholism, officials said.

Mary Pattiz, chairwoman of the board at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, said Wednesday $400,000 was a direct bequest to the center and another $100,000 will come from a foundation set up by Ford and her late husband, President Gerald Ford, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs reported.

The center is on the campus of Eisenhower Medical Center, where Ford died July 8 at 93.

"Mrs. Ford was, and always will be, the heart and soul of this place of healing," Pattiz said. "It means so much to us that after all she had given over the past 30 years, the center was still front and center in her mind during her final days."

The Ford Center has treated more than 100,000 people since it opened, including many celebrities. Elizabeth Taylor met her final husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky, during a stay at Betty Ford.

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