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Hogg: Mystery Gifts

Some of the best gifts come wrapped in mystery.

When Anastasia C. Hogg passed away this spring, she left more than one million dollars to Phoenix Children's Hospital. No one knows why.

She and her late husband, William, had no children of their own. Most of their relatives lived back in Ohio. To the staff's knowledge, Anastasia never visited Phoenix Children's Hospital or received any hospital promotional materials.

Nor was any explanation offered for such a generous bequest.

"It was a decision she and her husband made jointly, before his death (in 1995)," says Elmer Nelson, who served as the couple's financial advisor for several years.

"They wanted to do something for children. They felt, obviously, that they could do more good with their money for more children through Phoenix Children's Hospital than through any other charitable organization they could think of."

Nelson describes Ms. Hogg as "a very caring, outgoing individual." She and William, he says, were "pretty common people ... and I mean that in the best sense. Their wealth came from being very frugal, and from investing wisely." Since they had no children of their own, he says, and their extended family was financially secure, the couple opted to do something that would benefit the children of others.

It was, Nelson says, "just a simple desire to do good."

The Hoggs' good will be done through the Cardiac Catheter Lab of the Children's Heart Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital, which has been named for the Hoggs. Most of the youngsters who pass through those facilities may never know, or give much thought to, the caring couple who made their treatment possible.

But you can't help feeling that Anastasia and William Hogg are okay with that. 

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